Advanced Biofuels USA: promoting the understanding, development and use of advanced biofuels around the world.

Call to Action for a Truly Sustainable Renewable Future
August 8, 2013 – 5:07 pm | No Comment

-Include high octane/high ethanol Regular Grade fuel in EPA Tier 3 regulations.
-Use a dedicated, self-reducing non-renewable carbon user fee to fund renewable energy R&D.
-Start an Apollo-type program to bring New Ideas to sustainable biofuel and …

Read the full story »
Business News/Analysis

Federal Legislation

Political news and views from Capitol Hill.

More Coming Events

Conferences and Events List in Addition to Coming Events Carousel (above)

Original Writing, Opinions Advanced Biofuels USA


Home » Air Force, Atmosphere, Aviation Fuel, BioChemicals/Renewable Chemicals, BioRefineries, Biorefinery Infrastructure, Business News/Analysis, Defense, Federal Agency, Feedstocks, Field/Orchard/Plantation Crops/Residues, Forestry/Wood, Funding/Financing/Investing, Infrastructure, Not Agriculture, Precursors/Biointermediates, Pretreatment, Process, R & D Focus, Small scale biorefineries, Sugars

10 Time Machines for Making Biofuels and Chemicals

Submitted by on November 5, 2013 – 11:18 amNo Comment

by Jim Lane (Biofuels Digest)  …The new technologies that come along have to provide pressure, temperature and feedstock at their own cost. So it’s the cost of those three elements, competing against the cost of locating, drilling and pumping.  In recent years, the gap has narrowed considerably — the science of the time machine has advanced, while the cost of locating and drilling has increased as the easy-to-get-to oil is recovered. A number of these time machine technologies are now projecting that they can compete — at scale — with the $100+ crude oil we are likely to see for a while.

Where the share a common point is at the starting gate: they heat biomass up to begin to loosen the bonds that define one ball of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen atoms as wood, and another as a plant, and so on.

From there, they have secret catalysts, temperatures, pressures, catalysts, reactor designs, cooling procedures and follow-on procedures that turn that unglued biomass into an intermediate that can be thereafter transformed into a finished fuel.

Addressing volatility, shaking out cost, reproducing results at scale, and getting the conversion targeted to make the right intermediates — that’s been the work in the world of time machines in recent years.

1. KiOR … Well, it’s got first-mover advantage in cellulosic drop-in biofuels — though some see that privilege as akin to the Curse of the Bambino. We profiled the catalytic pyrolysis technology — that generates a biocrude from woody biomass (among other feedstocks) suitable for upgrading from biocrude to finished drop-in biofuels, here.

2. Midori …

The promise of the technology was simple: a revolutionary way to deliver low-cost sugars — perhaps the most stubborn barrier between cellulosic biofuels as a triumph in the lab, and cellulosic biofuels as a triumph at the pump.

The technology may surprise. There’s no biology in it, really – no enzymes, no magic micro-organism — fungus, yeast, bacteria, protein, aqueous acid, or what have you. It is a solid material — though one temporarily shrouded in some mystery — but one that reportedly can be easily separated from the reaction and reused, resulting in a significantly lower cost solution than existing technologies.

3. Biorefinery Midscandinavia   In July, we profiled biorefinery R&D project number 100 at the Swedish Processum cluster, aimed at thermochemically converting lignin from black liquor to bio oil. …

4. Anellotech    Last March, Anellotech announced that it plans to make available large quantities (i.e. 100 kg) of green benzene and toluene to strategic partners for downstream product development purposes before the end of this year.

The BTX group — benzene, toluene and xylene — are the key molecules among the aromatics.

5. Virent   Virent is developing a separation process which uses its BioForming technology to efficiently convert carbon from lignocellulosic biomass into hydrocarbon fuels. Virent will work to improve the overall carbon conversion efficiency of biomass—helping to reduce the cost of producing hydrocarbon biofuels that work with our existing transportation fuel infrastructure and are capable of meeting the Renewable Fuel Standard. Idaho National Laboratory will also bring their feedstock pre-processing capabilities to the project.

6. Velocys    One technology definitely worth watching: the microchannel Fischer-Tropsch reactors and catalysts developed by Velocys. …

According to Velocys, microchannel technology is able to intensify the FT process to the extent that a plant of 500 barrels per day output (7.6 million gallons per year) can be economic, which would require around 500 tonnes per day of biomass.

In terms of modular construction, Velocys has signed with Ventech Engineers International, which specializes in the design and construction of modular refineries.

7. Cool Planet … The project will consist of modular biomass-to-gasoline refineries in Alexandria, Natchitoches and a site to be determined.

Cool Planet will harvest wood waste and forest byproducts to make gasoline at its initial commercial-scale facilities in Louisiana. Each bio-refinery will be capable of producing 10 million gallons of high-octane, low-vapor pressure gasoline for strategic distribution through existing market channels and for blending at Louisiana refineries.

8. Agilyx … The technology – a pyrolysis process converting plastic into syngas, and thence cooled into synthetic crude.

9. Ensyn … Staring in the mid-2000s the company began its move into renewable transport fuels – with a signature establishment in 2007 of a 75 ton per day plant in Renfrew, Ontario in 2007, and establishment in 2008 of the Envergent joint venture with Honeywell’s UOP, aimed at stand-alone upgrading of the Ensyn liquid product to drop-in transportation fuels.

Though a complex technology, this class of technologies is based in a simple concept. Rapidly heat up biomass under the right conditions, you gasify the materials into a stream of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen that, when rapidly cooled, densifies into a trio of carbon-based soup, a solid bio-char, and a remainder of flammable, renewable gas.

10. Fulcrum BioEnergy   Recently, Fulcrum caught both industry and the public by surprise when the company was announced as one of the three recipients of an Air Force grant, under the Defense Production Act, aimed at developing plans for a drop-in military biofuels plant, capable of making both marine diesel and jet fuel, which would supply sub-$4 biofuels to the DoD.

So we have our MSW system, and our gasification technology and scrubbing systems, and then the FT process to produce jet fuel and diesel from the gas stream.   READ MORE

Related Post

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.