The Proposed Plant

A coal-to-liquid (CTL) plant in northwest China (Ningxia Hui) Photo taken on 12/26/2016

A coal-to-liquid (CTL) plant in northwest China (Ningxia Hui) Photo taken on 12/26/2016

Plant Equipment Summary

4 Flare stacks (towers)

  • 3 Flares from the Reactor, which will burn purge gas and will burn the reactor gases in case of a shutdown

  • 1 Loading Flare to burn tank emissions while loading diesel, naptha and ammonia


  • One pipeline to deliver water from the Ohio River (about 20 miles) to the plant

  • One pipeline to discharge waste water back into the Ohio (about 20 miles)

Coal Unloading, Storage & Preparation

  • Rail car dump, capable of handling 100 rail cars of coal (5000 tons of coal per hour)

  • 4 coal stockpiles, each 100 feet tall

  • Coal milling and drying unit, this will pulverize the coal

Adding Chemicals and Mixing the Feed to the Reactor

  • Sodium Sulfide (Na2S) unloading and silo for storage

  • 3 Mixing tanks/drums for preparation of slurry to the reactor

Main Reactor (the Veba Combi Cracking, or VCC, Unit)

  • High-Pressure Liquid- and Gas- Phase Hydrocrackers

  • “Residue” solidification unit (1124 tons per day of waste). Shipped out by railcar, truck or bulk containers.

Production of Sulfur from (Poisonous) Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

  • 2 Sulfur Recovery Plants

  • Amine Regeneration Unit

  • Ammonia Stripper

Storage Tanks

  • 4 Diesel product tanks, plus diesel fuel tank

  • 2 Naptha product tanks

  • 12 Pressurized ammonia tanks

  • “Slop” tank, amine tank, sour water tank, sulfuric acid tank, caustic tank, water tanks

Loading Product

  • Rail car loading capable of 8 railcars simultaneously at 2500 gpm each (20,000 gpm total) for diesel and naptha

  • Rail car loading for anhydrous ammonia

  • Rail car loading for molten sulfur

  • Rail car loading for “residue”

  • Truck loading for “residue”

Additional Equipment

  • 2 Sulfur “Recovery” Plants

  • 2 Molten Sulfur Pits

  • 2 Diesel Generators (to run in event of power failure)

  • Hydrogen Production Unit

  • Ammonia (NH3) Recovery Plant

  • Water Supply and Treatment Plant

  • Waste Water Treatment Plant (discharge either to Ohio River or Little Pigeon Creek)

Plant Inputs, Outputs, and Intermediate Chemicals


  • Illinois Number 6 coal: delivered by 100 car unit trains. Unloading will be up to 5000 tons per hour.

  • Water from the Ohio River: at a rate of 1.8 million gallons per day, via a pipeline yet to be constructed

  • Sodium Sulfide (Na2S): delivered by rail car. When exposed to moist air, Na2S and its hydrates emit hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs.

  • Methyl diethanolamine (MDEA): used to separate poisonous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) from the gas produced in the reforming process and send it to another plant for conversion to sulfur.


  • Diesel fuel: the energy needed to produce this fuel from this plant is almost the same as the energy contained in the product

  • Naptha: flammable, known to cause skin and airway irritation and cancer

  • Sulfur: smells like rotten eggs, will be stored on site

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2): a major cause of global warming

  • Ammonia: will be stored on-site then shipped out

  • “Residue” Pellets: created from the coal waste, to processed and shipped…where?

  • Waste water: at a rate of over 1 million gallons per day, to be carried to the Ohio River via a pipeline yet to be constructed

Internally-Produced Chemicals

  • Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S): a deadly toxin which the U.S. government considers a high priority chemical threat, both industrially and as a potential weapon of mass destruction by terrorists

  • Ammonia: classified as an extremely hazardous substance in the United States, subject to strict reporting requirements by facilities which produce, store, or use it in significant quantities

  • Sulfur Dioxide (SO2): A major air pollutant and has significant impacts upon human health

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO): A toxic pollutant