Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Chemical Engineering (M.S.C.H.)

Degree Granting Department

Chemical Engineering

Major Professor

John Kuhn, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Babu Joseph, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Aydin Sunol, Ph.D.


Tri-reforming, Fischer Tropsch Synthesis, Gas to Liquids, Landfill Gas (LFG ) to Liquid Fuels, Landfill Gas Recovery, Recovering Energy from Waste Digestion, Waste to Energy


This paper will discuss the conversion of gas produced from biomass into liquid fuel through the combination of naturally occurring processes, which occur in landfills and anaerobic digesters, and a gas-to-liquids (GTL) facility. Landfills and anaerobic digesters produce gases (LFG) that can be converted into syngas via a Tri-reforming process and then synthesized into man-made hydrocarbon mixtures using Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Further processing allows for the separation into liquid hydrocarbon fuels such as diesel and gasoline, as well as other middle distillate fuels. Conversion of landfill gas into liquid fuels increases their energy density, ease of storage, and open market potential as a common “drop in” fuel. These steps not only allow for profitable avenues for landfill operators but potential methods to decrease greenhouse gas emissions. The objective of this paper is to present a preliminary design of an innovative facility which processes contaminated biogases and produces a valuable product. An economic analysis is performed to show feasibility for a facility under base case scenario. A sensitivity analysis is performed to show the effect of different cost scenarios on the breakeven price of fuel produced. Market scenarios are also presented in order to further analyze situations where certain product portions cannot be sold or facility downtime is increased. This facility is then compared to traditional mitigation options, such as flaring and electricity generation, to assess the effect each option has on cost, energy efficiency, and emissions reduction.