Company profile

Core business

As a technology provider, Synfuels China focuses on the R&D on Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) Synthesis technologies for Indirect Coal Liquefaction or Coal-to-Liquids (CTL) and Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) processes using coal, natural gas, or biomass as feedstocks, and has developed proprietary Medium-Temperature Slurry-Bed Fisch-Tropsch Process (MTSFTP) technology for the production of high-quality clean liquid fuels such as gasoline and diesel. The MTSFTP technology consists of Fisch-Tropsch synthesis technologies including its proprietary iron-based Fisch-Tropsch synthesis catalysts and slurry-bed Fischer-Tropsch Reactor, and product upgrading technologies. This technology has been successfully applied in three 4000 BPD CTL demonstration plants in China, and Shenhua Ningmei 100,000 BPD CTL project using MTSFTP technology is under construction and will be commissioned late 2016. Synfuels China also developed proprietary multistage liquefaction technology for the utilization of low-rank coals and heavy oil upgrading. In addition, Synfuels China is active in fine chemicals engineering and other process engineering, and has developed several proprietary technologies for the selective production of γ-GBL, 2-MF, 2-MTHF, and other fine chemicals using maleic anhydride or furfuraldehyde as feedstocks.

Function allocation

Synfuels China has three major R&D bases located in Beijing, Inner Mongolia, and Taiyuan. These bases form the industrial support platform for Synfuels China's coal-to-liquids technologies in basic research, engineering design, technology development and commercialization, and for the localization of large-scale core equipment. Synfuels China R&D Center is also responsible for the application of international patents for Synfuels China technologies, in order to facilitate the development, promotion, and commercial application of Synfuels China proprietary technologies.


Due to its breakthrough in indirect coal-to-liquids commercial technology, Synfuels China has won several awards, including the Outstanding Technological Achievement Award from Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the First Prize of National Energy Technological Advancement from National Energy Administration. In 2014, “National energy R&D center on coal-based liquid fuels” , which was sponsored by the National Energy Administration, was established in Synfuels China. “Beijing key laboratory for clean coal-based liquid fuels” was established in Synfuels China and accepted by Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Committee. In addition, Synfuels China owns 80 domestic patents in China and 27 PCT patents granted in USA, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and Russia, and the copy right of a software for the simulation and optimization of CTL and GTL processes, and has established three national technical standards on liquid fuels from CTL.

Synfuels China

Synfuels China Technology Co., Ltd. was established in April 2006. There are several subsidiaries in Synfuels China, including Synfuels China R&D Center, Synfuels China Engineering Holding Co., Ltd, Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd, Synfuels China Inner Mongolia Co., Ltd, Synfuels Americas in USA, ChemEssen in Korea. Currently, there are more than 900 employees in Synfuels China, and over 80% of them are engineers and technical researchers, including 47 PhD degrees, 203 master degrees, 18 professors and 139 associate professors and senior engineers.

Main services

R&D on national special subjects;
R&D on coal-to-liquids technologies;
Commercial technology transfer;
Training and consulting;
Catalyst production and marketing;
R&D on proprietary coal-to-liquids equipment;
Engineering design in energy and coal chemical industry;
EPC and construction management;
Technical support and services on coal-to-liquids technologies.

Enterprise tenet

Corporate mission

Our mission is to develop proprietary coal conversion technologies, to explore the business model for independent technological development and commercialization, to support the development of indirect coal-to-liquids industry in China to meet the future domestic energy demand, and to promote the international application of our proprietary coal-to-liquids technologies.

The core parts of indirect coal-to-liquids (liquid fuels) technology are the Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis process, F-T catalyst and reactor technologies. Its advantages and characteristics are able to convert any combustible carbonaceous organic matters such as coal and biomass to high-quality oil products and raw chemical materials, through gasification, purification and synthesis, providing a feasible technical route to produce organic hydrocarbons from biomass (renewable resources). Based on the technical development trend of indirect coal liquefaction processes and application of F-T synthesis in biomass conversion(especially residue), Synfuels China mainly focuses on innovative R&D on indirect coal-to-liquids (oil products and chemicals), and carries out research on the integration of indirect coal liquefaction, low-temperature carbonization, multistage liquefaction, and gas turbine power generation, in order to improve the overall energy conversion efficiency of coal liquefaction process. Meanwhile, Synfuels China is working on biomass gasification technology and demonstration projects, and actively promoting the application of F-T synthesis technology for the conversion of biomass.

In technology development, Synfuels China Technology Co., Ltd. adheres to:

  • -Pay more attention on basic researches and process modeling work for the innovation of catalyst technology, and be good at the optimization and integration of coal conversion processes using F-T synthesis as core technology;

  • - Carry out R&D on large-scale unit process and unit equipment, such as fluid mechanics on large-scale F-T reactor, optimization of the reactor structure and its internals, R&D on materials, R&D on the optimization of large-scale heat exchanger and separator, etc;

  • -Strengthen our engineering design team and laboratory support system, and collaborate with equipment manufacturers to carry out R&D on large-scale equipment and form the industrial base for the commercialization of our technologies.

  • -Carry out R&D on product upgrading technology for target oil products, together with the R&D on F-T synthesis technology, to form a systematic R&D system for the upgrading of synthetic crudes;

Chairman of the Board:Mr. Zhang Donghai

Mr. Zhang Donghai, senior economist, graduated from the Beijing Farm Management Cadre Institute in 1992, and obtained his EMBA in Peking University in 2004.

Mr. Zhang Donghai joined Yitai Group in 1990, and has held several senior positions, including Deputy Director of Beijing Office of Yimeng Coal Company, and Deputy Manager of Beijing Transportation Development Corporation, Deputy Manager in the Operator Company of Yimeng Coal Company, Director of Beijing Office of Yitai Group, Deputy General Manager of Yitai Coal Limited Company, Chairman and General Manager of Yitai Coal Limited Company, Deputy General Manager of Yitai Group, and Deputy Secretary of Party Committee and Executive Director of the Board and General Manager of Yitai Group. Under the direction of Mr. Zhang, Yitai Group has been ranked at the twenty-third place in the national coal industry in China, and Yitai Coal Limited Company was successfully listed in Shanghai stock market and Hongkong stock market. In 2005, Mr. Zhang was honored as National Labor Model. In April 2006, Mr. Zhang Donghai was selected as the Chairman of the Board of Synfuels China Technology Co., Ltd.

Vice Chairman of the Board,General Manager:Dr. Li Yongwang

Dr. Li Yongwang graduated from the Inner Mongolia Institute of Engineering in July 1984, then studied and worked in Shanxi Institute of Coal Chemistry, CAS, from 1986 to 1994, where he obtained his Master Degree in Engineering and PhD in Science. In 1995, Dr. Li worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Petroleum Research Institute of Belgian GENT University, and continued his postdoctoral research work in Catalytic Institute of Belgium New Leuven University in 1996. Dr. Li undertook cooperative research work in the Erlangen Research Institute from 1999 to 2000, funded by Humboldt Foundation.

From 1997 to 2006, Dr. Li Yongwang worked for Shanxi Institute of Coal Chemistry as the Deputy Director of State Key Laboratory of Coal Conversion and Director of Synthetic Oil Engineering Research Center, in charge of the research work on coal-based synthetic oil technology, catalytic reaction engineering and computer simulation. Dr. Li and his research team completed 863 Project sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, and "Industrial Technology of Coal-Based Liquid Fuel Synthesis in Slurry Reactor" project as one of CAS Key Knowledge Innovation Projects. They designed the overall technology scheme for the synthetic oil technology using slurry-bed reactor, and built the first synthetic oil pilot plant and catalyst production facility in China. Series of pilot tests on synthetic oil had been carried out under the direction of Dr. Li. Meanwhile, they developed the first generation of industrial simulation software for the whole coal-to-liquids process in china, and completed the technical software package for 160,000 t/a coal-to-liquids demonstration plant, and developed proprietary coal-to-liquids process technology, which was ready for commercialization. In 2006, Dr. Li initiated and established Synfuels China Technology Co., Ltd. with several enterprises. In April 2006, Dr. Li was elected as the General Manager of Synfuels China, responsible for the direction of R&D and comprehensive business development in Synfuels China.

In 2009, the MTSFTP technology developed by Dr. Li and his team was successfully applied in three 4000 BPD coal-to-liquids demonstration plants in China. Among which, Yitai CTL plant and Shanxi Lu'an CTL plant had been started up successfully on its first commissioning in 2009, and produced qualified liquid fuels.

In addition, Dr. Li Yongwang serves as the vice chief editor of "Journal of Fuel Chemistry", editorial advisory of "Journal of Chemistry and Engineering", director of National Engineering Laboratory on indirect coal liquefaction, and deputy director of State Key Laboratory of Coal Conversion. Dr. Li has been honored several local and national titles, including "Excellent Labor Model of Shanxi Province" in 2007, "National Outstanding Chemical Science and Technology Worker" from China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Association in 2008, "Taiyuan Outstanding Entrepreneur in High-tech Zone" in 2008, "National Labor Medal" in 2009, "National Advanced Worker" in 2010, "Shanxi Top-Notch Science and Technology Innovation Pacesetter" in 2011, and "Applied Science Award" from Zhou Guangzhao Foundation in 2014.

Synfuels China Engineering Co., Ltd.

Synfuels China Engineering Co., Ltd.

In order to maintain its technological advantages and sustainability and to promote the commercialization of Synfuels China proprietary technologies, Synfuels China Engineering Co., Ltd. was established in Beijing in September 2006,as a subsidiary of Synfuels China technology Co., Ltd., and was then changed to Synfuels China Engineering Co., Ltd. (SFC Engineering) on 9th June 2015, with a registered capital of 180 million RMB. Synfuels China technology Co., Ltd. holds 77.78% of its shares.

On the basis of Synfuels China core proprietary technologies, SFC Engineering carries out R&D on core proprietary equipment, and provides various services, such as engineering consultancy, engineering design and EPC services, commissioning support services, operators training services through SFC Dynamic Simulator System, and post services and technology upgrading services. Focusing on performance and core competence improvement, the company has established its core working teams with its certification system, and formed a seamless system from R&D to engineering, or “R&D - Core Technologies - Engineering Design - EPC Services - Special Equipment Supply”. SFC Engineering provides excellent integrated services to our clients, and is becoming a leading engineering company in providing integrated solutions in indirect coal-to-liquids industry.

The company has 500 experienced engineers with expertise in engineering design, R&D on special equipment, and project management. It has won many honors such as “Diamond Enterprise of Tsinghua Science Park”, “Pilot Innovative Enterprise”, and “Beijing Hi-tech Enterprise”, etc. Process Design Package and engineering design has been completed for indirect coal-to-liquids Fisch-Tropsch Synthesis Unit and Product Upgrading Unit with a capacity of 500,000 t/a, 1 mt/a, 2 mt/a, and 4 mt/a, separately.

SFC Engineering provides various services, including technology development, engineering consultation, technology licensing, engineering exploration, engineering design, project supervision, R&D on special equipment in coal chemistry and coal-to-liquids process, EPC services, operators training, and environmental assessment for energy and chemical engineering projects, etc. The company has engaged in the design and construction of three coal-to-liquids demonstration projects in China, Yitai 160,000 t/a indirect CTL project, Lu'an 160,000 t/a indirect CTL project, and Shenhua 180,000 t/a indirect CTL project (Shenhua 829 Project).

In 2015, SFC Engineering signed several contracts with a total value of more than 20 billion RMB, and has engaged in several large-scale indirect coal-to-liquids projects such as Shenhua Ningmei 4 mt/a CTL in Ningxia, Luán integrated chemicals-electricity-power generation project in Shanxi, Yitai 1.2 mt/a fine chemicals project at Hanjinqi in Inner Mongolia, Yitai-Yili 1 mt/a CTL project in Xinjiang, Yitai 2 mt/a CTL project in Xinjiang, Yitai 2 mt/a CTL project in Inner Mongolia, Jingneng lignite upgrading project in Inner Mongolia, Yufu CTL project at Bijie in Guizhou.

SFC Engineering will achieve its sustainable and leap-forward development in indirect CTL industry through continuous innovation on technology and management, while maximizing the economic benefits of its share holders via both industrial management and capital operation.

SFC Engineering has obtained A-Grade “Engineering Design Professional Qualification Certificate” in chemical, petrochemical, and pharmaceutical industry, and “Foreign Project Contracting Qualification Certificate” in 2010. It also holds B-Grade Engineering Consulting Qualification of chemical profession, Pressure Vessel Design Qualification (Class A), Pressure Pipeline Design Qualification (Class GB, GC and GD), and other qualification certificates.

SFC Engineering pays close attention to the management on both enterprise and technology, and has actively implemented the certification of quality management system and obtained related qualifications for engineering design, engineering consulting, general project contracting (including procurement, construction management and start-up services), and project management certificates:

The GB/T19001-2008/ISO9001:2008 Quality Management System Certification;

GB/T24001-2004/ISO14001:2004 Environment Management System Certification;

GB/T28001-2011 Occupation Health and Safety Management System Certification;

Q/SHS0001.1:2001 Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Management System Certification.

2008 Quality Management
System Certification
2004 Environment Management
System Certification
Occupation Health and
Safety Management
System Certification
Health Safety and
Environment(HSE) Management
System Certification
SFC Engineering has a well-structured technical team, including professionals in engineering design, engineering consulting, project management and control, procurement and construction management. Among its 402 staff, there are 92 senior engineers, 138 associates, and 144 junior staff, including 2 PhD, 115 master degree, 256 bachelor degree, and 26 college degree.
SFC Engineering has established its own local network system equipped with dozens of servers and hundreds of information points, using various professional design software such as ASPEN PLUS, PRO II, PDMS, and CASEAR II, and project management software such as PMIS and P6.
SFC Engineering completed the design of SFC core technology units for Yitai 160,000 t/a and Lu'an 160,000 t/a coal-to-liquids demonstration plants. These plants have been running at full load since their commissioning in 2009. Based on these 160,000 t/a coal-to-liquids projects, SFC Engineering has carried out engineering development and optimization using operation data from those demonstration plants, and completed four sets of process design package using Synfuels China slurry-bed F-T process technology with a capacity of 0.5 mt/a, 1 mt/a, 2 mt/a, and 4 mt/a, separately.

SFC Engineering has completed the process design package, detailed engineering design of the F-T Synthesis unit, Product Upgrading Unit for Shenhua Ningxia 4 mt/a indirect coal-to-liquids project; are providing EPC services for the F-T Synthesis unit, Product Upgrading Unit, and Storage and Transportation System of Lu'an clean utilization of high-sulfur coal and liquid fuels-electricity integration demonstration project, and Yitai 1.2 mt/a fine chemicals project.

Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd.

Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd.

Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd. as a wholly owned subsidiary of Synfuels China Technology Co., Ltd. was founded in December 2006. It mainly engages in the production and sale of coal-to-liquids catalyst and related addictives and inorganic chemical products, and research and transfer and technical services on catalyst production.

Fischer-Tropsch synthesis catalyst is the core part of indirect coal liquefaction technology. In order to speed up the industrialization of Synfuels China proprietary coal-to-liquids technology and meet the demands for Fischer Tropsch catalyst from the three coal-to-liquids demonstration plants (Yitai Group, Shanxi Lu’an Coal Group and Shenhua Group) using Synfuels China CTL technology, Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd. built a catalyst production facility with a capacity of 1500 t/a, and was put into operation at the end of 2008. In 2009, Synfuels China's high temperature slurry bed Fischer-Tropsch synthesis catalyst product was successfully used in Yitai 160,000 t/a CTL demonstration plant and Lu’an 160,000 t/a CTL demonstration plant, producing nearly 100,000 ton liquid fuels. The long-term steady operation of the CTL demonstration plants demonstrates that Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd. has mastered the production and scale-up of Fischer-Tropsch synthesis catalyst. The technical parameters of the F-T catalyst are at the leading position in coal-to-liquids industry.

There are 70 technical and operation staff in Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd., including 30 technical staff, accounting for 43% of the total staff. The company has fixed asset worth more than 80 million RMB. While producing catalyst products, Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd. also undertakes R&D projects from Anhui Province. At present, Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd. is planning the construction of 10,000 ton F-T catalyst factory to meet catalyst demand from the 30 million t/a coal-to-liquids industry in China to be constructed by 2020. Our mission is “Our Expertise in Future Energy”. Our development philosophy is "technology and innovation is the driving force, and management is crucial for the development, economic benefit is our main target, quality is the foundation for survival”. Synfuels China Huainan Catalyst Co., Ltd. will become a first-class international high-tech company for technology development and catalyst production.

Synfuels China Inner Mongolia Co., Ltd.

Synfuels China Inner Mongolia Co., Ltd.

Synfuels China Inner Mongolia Co., Ltd. was established in November, 2012, with a registered capital of 300 million RMB. It mainly engages in the production and sale of semi-finished / finished coal-to-liquids catalyst and related addictives, and R&D on catalyst and its production and equipment

Relying on the innovation capability and engineering integration capability of Synfuels China Technology Co., Ltd., the company aims to improve catalyst technology and its production and sales on the basis of Synfuels China's proprietary CTL technology and related coal chemical industrial experience. Large-scale production of catalyst has been achieved, and the catalyst product is currently supplied to the three 160,000 t/a CTL demonstration plants (Inner Mongolia Yitai Group Co., Ltd., Shanxi Lu'an Mining Group Company, and Shenhua Group). The company will supply catalyst product and related technical support for future large-scale commercial CTL projects.

At present, there are more than 200 staff in the company, including 3 senior engineers, 19 engineers, and 44 associate engineers. Among them, bachelor degrees and postgraduate degrees (2 PhD, 22 masters, 56 bachelors) accounts for 82.7% of the staff. To meet the requirement of the company development, the allocation of human resources is continuously optimized to carry out cooperation between production, learning and research, forming an integrated technology development system for basic research, analysis, technology scale-up, catalyst production and sale. and the positive interaction between catalyst production and sales.

There are several departments in the company, such as R&D Department, Technology Department, Production Department, etc.

The R&D Department consists of three functional test centers: coal quality analysis and testing center, product analysis and testing center, and environmental monitoring center. There are 76 sets of equipment in the department, which is worth more than 50 million RMB. Over 70% of the equipment are latest international models or first-class equipment in China. The company obtained the CMA accreditation measurement certificate in November, 2011, and was qualified to carry out the relevant analytical testing and technical development.

The Technology Department is responsible for the operation of Yitai and Lu'an CTL demonstration plants as well as technical support work, plans and implements the "safe, steady, long-term, full-load and excellent" operation of the demonstration plants, designs and plans technical improvement, collects operational data and provides reliable engineering data, monitors the production and operation of equipments, optimizes processes and equipment, and maintains the long-term stable operation of the plant.

The Production Department is responsible for the enlargement of the high-tech laboratory techniques, ensures the start-up, operation, maintenance, technical improvements and construction guardianship of the pilot platform, collects data during operation of the testing project, describes and concludes the operational status in details, as well as provides commercialization device with the firsthand process operating parameters and operating procedures.

To meet the demand for catalyst of the first batch of million-ton commercial coal-to-liquids demonstration projects, the company started the construction of 48,000 t/a of coal liquefaction catalyst and industrial support for the project (the first phase of 0.12 million t/a) in 2013, and completed and put into stand-alone test at the end of 2014. The completion and implementation of this project has a very important strategic significance to enhance the technology industry support capability of Synfuels China Technology Co., Ltd. to improve local industrial level, to upgrade the industrial structure, to promote the sustainable and healthy development of coal chemical industry.