New UTA lab converts natural gas to liquid fuel

ARLINGTON — It’s a mini-world of tomorrow at UT Arlington, where Monday they cut the ribbon for their new Conrad Greer Lab. The Lab houses machinery that turns natural gas into liquid fuel that can be used to create diesel and jet fuel.

“This technology allows you to go after stranded gas,” said Dr. Frederick MacDonnel, the chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “Let’s say you have gas that’s too far away from a pipeline to be affordable, they can put a plant there and they can immediately convert it to liquid fuels. Then you bring in a tanker truck and you drive it to where you want to go.”

The way the whole process works is way over most of our heads, but quite clearly opening this lab with the cutting edge tech puts UTA at the forefront of finding solutions to our long-term energy questions.

“We’re growing at a tremendous pace in this Metroplex, we will become a megacity in the next ten years or so,” UTA President Vistasp Karbhari said. “That means there is going to be even more demand on our natural resources and more demand to have cleaner fuels, more efficient fuels, and cheaper sources of energy.”

“You’re going to see a disruptive technology today that has the potential to be a world changer,” said Patrick Six, from Greenway Technology Inc.

Well, right now the gas to liquid process only nets the school about a liter of fuel a day, but considering that’s coming almost literally out of thin air, it’s still borderline sci-fi stuff!

As for what future innovations at UTA will be, well we can dream can’t we?