Competitive Edge: EDIOL, LLC’s Catalyst Tech

February 3, 2022 |

Q: What was the reason for founding your organization – what was the open niche you saw that could be addressed with a new product or service? What was the problem, or gap, or opportunity?

Biomass conversion needs a new cost effective, “green chemistry” approach. Instead of focusing on thermochemical conversions, my company developed the world’s first true catalyst for fluid cat cracking woody biomass into pure liquid hydrocarbons and bioplastic resins. Cellulose and semi-cellulose are directly converted into Iso hexane and Iso Pentane. A drop-in gasoline fuel replacement that is deoxygenated at lower capital and operational cost than fossil gasoline. The market outlook is to replace ethanol with a superior fuel at lower cost. The fluid cat cracker, (FCC) is the first of its kind in the world. Catalyst operates at room temperature and atmospheric pressure with in-situ ionized hydrogen generation. 

The technology has successfully converted a wide range of biomass streams without difficulty. Forest harvest waste, demolition wood, ag biomass, furniture waste wood and any blend of these materials. Lignin has been certified by USDA as a 100% bioplastic resin.

Q: Tell us about your organization. What do you do?

We are an advanced catalyst technology company solving the fluid cat cracker dilemma involving woody biomass. Catalytic cracking of biomass produces a true de-oxygenated liquid hydrocarbon. Lignin in wood produces a pure bioplastic resin at +98.5% purity and is a high temperature thermoset resin with Glass Transition Temperature above 900 degrees Celsius. A water based self cross linking thermoset that avoids the need for compounding before use. Liquid hydrocarbons are drop-in gasoline replacement with higher energy density than fossil gasoline. Future plans are to upgrade Iso Pentane and Iso hexane into both diesel and jet fuels 100% derived from woody biomass sources.

Q: What stage of development are you?

Demonstration stage – proven at small, integrated scale, but not yet commercially available

Q: What do your technologies, products or services do and accomplish – how does it (they) work, who is it (they) aimed for?

Iso Pentane and Iso hexane are common platform chemicals derived from fossil origins. This technology will replace fossil derived liquid hydrocarbons with a renewable and sustainable source at lower cost than fossil derived products. These include cosmetics, films, industrial solvents, fuels, accelerants in spray cans, edible oil extractions and dry cleaning chemicals to name a few. 

It blends well with gasoline because these hydrocarbons are not alcohols. Lignin from wood is a direct replacement in plastic applications and successfully tested as 100% biodegradable in a backyard compost. Lignin bioplastic resins naturally do not support an open flame and has zero smoke when combusted. Lower cost and environmentally responsible than all synthetic thermoset resins. The process has 100% water recycling, has zero waste stream. All carbon in woody biomass produces a value-added product.

Q: Competitively, what gives your technology, product or service set an edge in cost or performance, sustainability, or any other aspect, that makes it stand out from the crowd, In short, what makes it transformative?

This technology, Advanced Fluid Cat Cracker technology, is lower cost than biomass approaches today. The catalyst operates at room and atmospheric pressure without the aid of chemicals or solvents. A zero emissions technology and single vessel. Drastically lowering capital and low-rations costs. Liquid hydrocarbons produced at commercial scale are less than $0.20 per gallon break even. Thermoset resins break even costs are less than $0.15 per pound. Fossil based resins and fossil gasoline and ethanol cannot compete at these costs. These costs are without the aid of tax incentives or carbon offsets. A true biofuel/fossil fuel comparison in costs. 

Iso Pentane and Iso Hexane achieves a 15-30% improvement in wheel energy than fossil gasoline and certainly that of ethanol. Improved biofuel milage than gasoline ethanol blends, high octane and easily stored in tanks unlike ethane gasoline blends. Iso Pentane and Iso hexane are hydrophobic hydrocarbons unlike ethanol blends.

Q: What are the top milestones you have accomplished in the past 3 years?

  • Modeled th4e catalyst at bend scale then scaled up to pilot. 
  • Completed USDA certification of lignin as a 100% bioplastic resin and listed in USDA’s BioPreferred program as mandatory for all Government purchasing. 
  • Marketed lignin bioplastic resins to several potential clients in the single use biodegradable plastic industry. 
  • Began marketing the technology to potential clients in the US and Europe. 
  • Continued operation of the pilot unit to produce samples for interested clients. 
  • Began working on the catalyst technology to upgrade Iso Pentane and Iso hexane as an improved diesel and jet fuel that is superior to fats and Oils based biofuels with a lower cost structure and very low temperature capabilities than biodiesel and BioJet fuels. 
  • Iso Pentane and Iso hexane have very low melting points, well below fats and oils derived diesel and jet.

Q: What are the top milestones you will accomplish in the next 3 years?

  • Scale up the pilot unit to commercial production both in the US and Europe.

Q. Where can I learn more about EDIOL, LLC?

Click here to visit EDIOL’s website.

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