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It uses a chemical catalyst to take methane molecules from natural gas and combine them into ethylene, a hydrocarbon widely used in the chemical industry.The ethylene can be sold as its own product, or it can be processed with other catalysts to produce liquid fuels.But Siluria, headquartered in San Francisco, sees it as a natural fit."Their business isn't just oil," said Ed Dineen, Siluria's chief executive officer. And when they look across that spectrum, they have a strong interest in increasing the value of their gas. more Natural gas is piped into a Siluria Technologies plant in Hayward, Calif.for conversion into ethylene and gasoline on Tuesday, Aug. The startup energy company is announcing that Saudi Aramco, one of ... The startup energy company is announcing that Saudi Aramco, one of the world's largest oil companies, is its latest major investment partner. The startup energy company is announcing that Saudi Aramco, ... The startup energy company is announcing that Saudi Aramco, one of the world's largest oil companies, is its latest major investment partner. Siluria Technologies says it can produce large quantities of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and chemicals at a lower cost than traditional refineries and chemical plants.The company has also built a short but impressive roster of partners, including the Linde Group, a global company specializing in industrial gases and engineering.Braskem, a petrochemicals giant based in Brazil, is installing Siluria's system at one of its plants in La Porte, Texas, with operations expected to begin later this year.
Founded in 2008, Siluria has now raised million from such investors as Bright Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Lux Capital.
Royal Dutch Shell last year shelved plans for a billion "gas-to-liquids" plant in Louisiana, in part due to the cost.
Siluria's process doesn't require intense pressure and heat.
Those alliances will help Siluria make the leap from tiny pilot plants, such as the one crafting small-batch gasoline in Hayward, to full production. Siluria wants to partner with oil and chemical companies, not supplant them.
"What we've done with these partnerships, with Aramco and Braskem, is we've essentially brought the customers into the company," said Rahul Iyer, vice president of corporate development.
The catalysts stitch together carbon atoms from the ethylene to create gasoline or diesel or jet fuel.