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Spring 2018

Inquiry Magazine Archive

Jet Set

Green Conversion

New lab producing potentially game-changing technology for the energy sector 

Green Conversion

When UTA opened its new Conrad Greer Lab late last year, it signaled an important step in the University's commitment to addressing the critical issues that affect our planet.

Built with a $750,000 gift from Fort Worth-based Greenway Innovative Energy, the lab houses researchers focused on converting natural gas to high-grade diesel and jet fuel.

"The approach UTA developed in conjunction with Greenway makes for the cleanest, most environmentally friendly method of converting supplies to ready-to-market fuel," says Raymond Wright, Greenway CEO.

Fred MacDonnell, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and aerospace engineering Professor Brian Dennis have perfected a conversion process and created proprietary technology that allows them to produce liquid fuel on a larger scale, one that eventually will move the lab on the road to where natural gas is available.

Greenway's idea is to access "stranded gas fields"—gas reserves that produce too little gas to be economically viable and currently have no technology available to mine them.

"We needed a proof of concept and UTA delivered," Wright says. "Then we needed to know whether it was movable, if we could scale it down enough to roll around." At present, the team has a G-reformer under construction in Fort Worth that will be capable of feeding a 150 barrel/day unit once complete.


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