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Single Step Conversion of Landfill Gas to Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels
PI: Prof. J. N. Kuhn (jnkuhn@usf.edu; 813 974 6498) &
co-PI: Prof. B. Joseph (bjoseph@usf.edu)
University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Ave ENB 118, Tampa FL 33620

Student Researchers: Nada Elsayed (PhD) and Nathan Roberts (BS)

Sponsor: William W. Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management at the University of Florida

Research Description: We propose a novel process for the upgrading of landfill gas (LFG) to liquid hydrocarbon fuels with a single step for conversion of the methane and carbon dioxide containing feedstock to high value liquid hydrocarbon fuels. In the same reactor, a specially designed and proprietary catalyst will generate syngas, the mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, from LFG and then selectively transform the syngas by Fischer-Tropsch synthesis (FTS) to high value liquid hydrocarbons such as diesel and jet fuel. By incorporating both processes into the same reactor, this effort addresses the key challenge of making LFG-to-liquid fuel technology commercial. Gas-to-liquid fuel technologies are primarily limited by economy of scale and our approach is expected to make a significant impact on this limitation.

Scope of Work: The goals of this project are to design and optimize the single step conversion of LFG to liquid hydrocarbon fuels and to model the impacts of the proposed approach at the process level to assess the economic benefits. The long-term goal of this line of research is to provide an economically viable approach for meeting EPA regulations on landfill emissions. Using the LFG to liquids process, both energy and environmental challenges will be addressed in an economical manner. The proposed effort leverages previous efforts on the demonstration of syngas production from LFG funded by the Hinkley Center and the Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC) as well as the design and application of selective FTS (production of diesel and jet fuel) funded by FESC.

Scholarly works published through this funding:

Cimenler, U., Elsayed, N.H., Maiti, D., Elwell, A.C., Joseph, B., and Kuhn, J.N., “Layered Catalysts for Low Temperature Size Selective Reforming of Hydrocarbons” accepted in Topics in Catalysis.

Elsayed, N.H., Roberts, N., Joseph, B., and Kuhn, J.N., "Comparison of Pd-Ni-Mg/ceria-zirconia and Pt-Ni-Mg/ceria-zirconia catalysts for syngas production via low temperature reforming of model biogas" Topics in Catalysis 59 (2016) 138-146 (DOI :10.1007/s11244-015-0513-7) LINK

Elsayed, N.H., Roberts, N., Joseph, B., and Kuhn, J.N., “Low temperature dry reforming of methane over Pt-Ni-Mg/ceria-zirconia catalysts” Applied Catalysis B: Environmental 179 (2015) 213-219. (DOI: 10.1016/j.apcatb.2015.05.021) LINK

Kuhn, J.N., Joseph, B., "SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR PRODUCING LIQUID HYDROCARBON FUELS" U.S. patent number 9,328,035 (2016).

Elsayed, Nada "Catalytic Upgrading of Biogas to Fuels: Role of Reforming Temperature, Oxidation Feeds, and Contaminants" (2017). LINK



(L): Nada finishes loading catalysts in a reactor. (R) A series of catalysts prepared by Nada and Nathan.


Technical Awareness Group:

Our first TAG meeting was held on April 2, 2014.

1st TAG meeting (links: audio and audio/video)

Our 2nd TAG meeting was held on March 9, 2015.

2nd TAG meeting (audio and audio/video)

We thank the following people for being members of our TAG.

Canan “Janan” Balaban

Asst. Director

Florida Energy Systems Consortium

Roger Lescrynski

Solid Waste Project Manager

Public Works - Solid Waste Division

Sam Levin President S2Li
Kelsi Oswald Director Pinellas County Dept. of Solid Waste

Tino Prado

Engineer, Owner

Prado Tech.

Tim Roberge



John Schert

Executive Director

Hinkley Center

Tim Vinson Research Director Hinkley Center

Devin Walker

Process Engineer


Matt Yung


Nat. Renewable Energy Lab

Final Report

Progress Reports:

First Quarter

Second Quarter

Third Quarter

Fourth Quarter

Fifth Quarter

Sixth Quarter

Seventh Quarter

Project supported in funding by William W. Hinkley Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management at the University of Florida