Transformative Technologies 2010 nominees: Waste to energy, and symbiotic systems including gasification

| June 7, 2010

Nominations: Waste to energy and symbiotic (“co-located”) systems including gasification
To vote in Transformative Technologies 2010, visit here.

British Airways/Solana
British Airways announced that it will construct a 19 Mgy waste biomass gasification plant at one of four sites under consideration in East London, that will produce renewable aviation biofuels. The plant will commence operations in 2014, and will utilize 500,000 tons of waste biomass. The facility will be constructed by US company Solena Group, will use the Fischer Tropsch process and will reduce the airline’s annual carbon emissions by 145,000 tons per year, according to consultancy Arcadis that is also working on the project.

Enerkem enables every city in the world to produce advanced fuels locally, efficiently and cost-effectively using their household garbage. The company manufactures, owns and operates community-based, compact advanced biorefineries founded on its proprietary thermo-chemical technology, developed in-house since 2000. Enerkem’s transformative technology converts residual materials, such as non-recyclable municipal solid waste, into clean transportation fuels and advanced chemicals. The multi-feedstock and multi-product process combines green gasification and catalytic synthesis. Enerkem’s extensive gas conditioning produces a tailored synthetic gas that is converted into premium products using proven industrial catalysts at the proper temperatures and pressures.

Elevance Renewable Sciences
Newton IA: This project was selected to complete preliminary engineering design for a future facility producing jet fuel, renewable diesel substitutes, and high-value chemicals from plant oils and poultry fat.

Fulcrum Bioenergy
Fulcrum BioEnergy announced today that it has successfully demonstrated the ability to economically produce renewable ethanol from garbage at its TurningPoint Ethanol Demonstration Plant. The company’s 10.5 Mgy Sierra BioFuels Plant, located approximately 20 miles east of Reno, will commence operations in 2011 and will convert 90,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW). The company expects to produce fuel for less than $1 a gallon, at a yield of 120 gallons per ton.  In a two-step thermochemical process, organic materials recovered from MSW are gasified in a plasma enhanced gasifier – the syngas is then converted to ethanol.

The British arm of Genesyst with Mytum and Selby Recycling will be starting construction of its waste to ethanol facility at the Maltings Organic Treatment center from March 2010. In its first stage this will produce over 100 million liters of ethanol a year by mid 2012 with a further facility producing over 180 million liters by 2013.

LanzaTech said that data from its pilot synfuel plant at New Zealand Steel in Glenbrook has determined that contaminants in steel waste gases do not inhibit microbial fermentation and can be utilized for low cost ethanol production. LanzaTech said that its continuous fermentation of raw steel mill gas has shown no impact on microbial viability, growth or productivity when compared to a synthetic gas equivalent.

Last May, Waste Management Inc. and InEnTec announced a joint venture, called S4 Energy Solutions, that will produce renewable fuel, power and industrial products as well as to generate electricity, using plasma gasification. In plasma gasification, biomass is fed into a closed chamber and superheated to temperatures of up to 20,000 degrees fahrenheit. The intense heat transforms biomass into syngas, which is then reformulated using into ethanol and green diesel, hydrogen, methanol or methane. A secondary process can convert the base materials into other industrial chemicals.

Standard Alcohol
Standard Alcohol of America (“SACA”) has developed a higher mixed alcohol fuel (trademarked “Envirolene”) that meets the seemingly conflicting demands of increasing our domestic production of compatible, affordable fuels, while meeting the Renewable Fuels Standard requirements for decreasing the harmful emissions associated with growing fuel consumption.  By modifying the thermochemical production process that produces methanol (MUCH less expensive than ethanol or bio-diesel, and even lower than gasoline), SACA utilizes a unique catalytic process to convert syngas into a, clean, biodegradable fuel.

Terrabon uses anaerobic mixed culture fermentation followed by chemical conversion of fermentation products into biofuels and bio-chemicals. Depending on chemical pathway chosen, Terrabon can produce mixed primary alcohols (a mix of ethanol, propanol, butanol, pentanol, hexanol and heptanol), mixed secondary alcohols (a mix of isopropanol, 2-butanol, 3-pentanol, 2-pentanol, etc), green gasoline, green diesel and green jet fuel. It has a JV arrangements with Valero/Waste Management, and licensing arrangements for larger facilities (300 to 500-ton per day) .

ThermoChem Recovery International
Steam reforming gasification. TRI’s medium-BTU syngas can be converted into a wide range of downstream biofuel and biochemical products.  Since 2003, a TRI gasifier has been in commercial-scale operation at Norampac’s Trenton (Ontario) containerboard mill, gasifying black liquor (solid biomass equivalent: 500 dry tons per day).  Currently, TRI is the gasification technology provider for two separate DOE-funded biorefinery projects which will convert TRI syngas to Fischer-Tropsch waxes and diesel for market sale, and provide tailgas to offset natural gas use in the lime kiln.

Municipal waste to Energy the future which is already a reallity as the technology is ready and economical. In Canada, W2 Energy announced that it had completed its Sunfilter commercial scale algae bioreactor, and that the product is ready for sale to algae and/or biodiesel producers or other companies investigating algae or CO2 sequestration or recycling efforts.


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