DOE researchers develop novel biomass gasification process for high-octane blendstock; DME intermediate

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have developed a novel process that uses biomass gasification to produce high-octane gasoline blendstock. The resulting blendstock is low in aromatic compounds. To make this new blendstock, NREL’s indirect liquefaction team first converts... Details →


Air Products to acquire Shell’s coal gasification technology business and patent portfolio for liquids (residue) gasification; coal-to-fuels in China

Air Products will acquire Royal Dutch Shell’s Coal Gasification Technology business as well as Shell’s patent portfolio for Liquids (Residue) Gasification. Financial terms are not being disclosed, and the acquisition is expected to close in the coming months. As a leading industrial gas company, Air Products has extended its onsite... Details →


British Airways partners with Velocys on renewable jet fuel from household waste

British Airways has entered a partnership with Velocys to design a series of waste plants that convert household waste into renewable jet fuel to power its fleet. The first plant will take hundreds of thousands of tonnes of household waste per-year, destined for landfill or incineration, including diapers, plastic food... Details →


Enerkem Inc. has started the commercial production of cellulosic ethanol. Enerkem’s facility in Edmonton, AB, Canada, is the first commercial-scale plant in the world to produce cellulosic ethanol made from non-recyclable, non-compostable mixed municipal solid waste. The company has been producing and selling biomethanol since 2016, prior to expanding production... Details →


Aemetis has signed a Master Agreement with key exclusive rights for the use of an advanced gasification technology from InEnTec to produce cellulosic ethanol. The InEnTec gasification technology agreement is a key part of Aemetis’ strategy to produce high-value, low-carbon cellulosic ethanol from locally sourced biomass by integrating InEnTec’s patented... Details →


Velocys establishes strategic alliance with TRI for gasification systems for BTL plants

Velocys plc, the developer of smaller scale gas-to-liquids (GTL), signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. (TRI), establishing a strategic alliance. TRI—a leading provider of steam reforming gasification systems suitable for woody biomass and other waste feedstocks—will be Velocys’ preferred supplier of gasification systems for its... Details →


Fulcrum BioEnergy files LCFS application for municipal solid waste to FT diesel pathway with low CI of 37.47 g/MJ

Fulcrum BioEnergy, the parent company of Fulcrum Sierra BioFuels, has applied for a new fuel pathway under the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCSF) for its process of converting municipal solid waste (MSW) into Fischer-Tropsch (“FT”) diesel fuel. The California LCFS mandates a 10% reduction by 2020 in the carbon... Details →


RedRock Biofuels to supply 3M gallons/year of renewable jet fuel to FedEx through 2024

Red Rock Biofuels LLC will produce approximately three million gallons of low-carbon, renewable jet fuel per year for FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation. The agreement runs through 2024, with first delivery expected in 2017. FedEx joins Southwest Airlines, which signed a purchase agreement with RedRock in November 2014... Details →


DOE selects 7 gasification projects for funding; focus on reducing cost of coal conversion

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has selected seven projects to receive funding through NETL’s Gasification System Program. This program supports a wide range of research and development activities aimed at improving fuel and product versatility, efficiency, and economics of gasification processes. The projects conducted through... Details →


United Airlines invests $30M in Fulcrum BioEnergy; renewable jet fuel offtake agreement, potential joint development of production

United Airlines made a $30-million equity investment in US-based Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., the developer of a process for converting municipal solid waste into low-cost sustainable aviation biofuel. (Earlier post.) The investment is so far the largest single investment by a US airline in alternative fuels. In addition to the equity... Details →


Fulcrum Bioenergy awards $200M EPC contract to Abengoa for MSW-to-jet plant

Fulcrum BioEnergy has awarded a $200-million fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to Abengoa for the construction of Fulcrum’s first municipal solid waste (MSW) to transportation fuels facility, the Sierra BioFuels Plant. The Sierra BioFuels Plant will utilize Fulcrum’s process for converting MSW into renewable syncrude that will then... Details →


DOE awarding about $16M to four projects for advanced gasification systems; focus on coal

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has selected four projects to receive funding for next-generation gasification systems. Awardees will receive approximately $16 million to advance the gasification process, which converts carbon-based materials such as coal into syngas for use as power, chemicals, hydrogen, and transportation fuels. Gasification plants have the... Details →


Cathay Pacific Airways makes strategic equity investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy; MSW to biojet; 375M gallon supply agreement

Cathay Pacific Airways has made a strategic equity investment in Fulcrum BioEnergy—a pioneer in the development and commercialization of converting municipal solid waste (MSW) into sustainable aviation fuel (earlier post)—as part of the airline’s biofuel strategy and to help it achieve a target of carbon-neutral growth from 2020. Cathay Pacific,... Details →


DOE soliciting projects in advanced coal gasification for high carbon-capture power production and/or liquid fuels

The US DOE is soliciting (DE-FOA-0001051) projects for up to $10 million in awards to target technological advancements to lower the cost of producing hydrogen and/or high-hydrogen syngas from coal for use in 90% carbon capture power generation and/or gasification-based liquid (transportation) fuel production: methanol or diesel. Liquid fuel production... Details →


Primus Green Energy Inc., an alternative fuel company that converts natural gas and other feedstocks directly into drop-in transportation fuels and solvents (earlier post), announced that its patent application covering its STG+ liquid fuel synthesis technology has been allowed by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). STG+ produces high-quality,... Details →


The multi-stage bioliq process produces high-quality synthetic fuels from straw and other biogenous residues. Graphic: N. Dahmen, KIT/IKFT. Click to enlarge. The synthesis stage of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology’s (KIT’s) multi-stage bioliq pilot plant has begun operation and has produced biogasoline. All stages of the bioliq process—flash pyrolysis, high-pressure entrained-flow... Details →


Fulcrum BioEnergy demonstrates integrated process to convert MSW to jet and diesel; $4.7M DoD grant to begin plant engineering

Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc. has successfully demonstrated the conversion of municipal solid waste (MSW)—household garbage—into jet and diesel fuels. Fulcrum says its ability to produce drop-in fuels from MSW opens up an 80 billion gallon per year fuel market and expands its customer base for its national development program. This demonstrated... Details →


Capacities of the demonstration and commercial facilities sorted by technology. Source: “Status of Advanced Biofuels Demonstration Facilities in 2012”. Click to enlarge. Advanced biofuels technologies have developed significantly over the past several years, according to a status report on demonstration facilities prepared for IEA Bioenergy Task 39—a group of international... Details →


DOE issues $13M funding opportunity for advanced coal gasification systems for power or fuels

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0000784) for up to $13 million to support the development of advanced coal gasification systems. DOE anticipates making 5 awards under the FOA. There will be three (3) Areas of Interest (AOIs) under the FOA. The first two—Coal... Details →


Forest BtL’s process. Click to enlarge. Finland-based Forest BtL Oy has licensed Carbo-V biomass gasification technology from Linde Engineering Dresden GmbH. The Carbo-V technology will be implemented in a new Biomass–to-Liquid (BtL) plant in Kemi, Northern Finland. The commercial operation for the production of biodiesel and naphtha via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis... Details →


The HIT BusinessResearch Group intends to convert sewage sludge to hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles and stationary fuel cells. Click to enlarge. The Hydrogen Innovation Town (HIT) Business Research Group in Japan—including Japan Blue Energy Co., Ltd. (JBEC); Daiwa Lease Co., Ltd.; Toyota Tsusho Corporation; and Mitsui Chemicals, Inc.—has begun... Details →


Sundrop Fuels partners with ThyssenKrupp Uhde for inaugural drop-in biogasoline plant

Sundrop Fuels, Inc., a gasification-based drop-in advanced biofuels company (earlier post), is partnering with ThyssenKrupp Uhde for its inaugural biogasoline production facility near Alexandria, Louisiana (earlier post). Sundrop Fuels will convert sustainable forest residues and thinnings as feedstock combined with natural gas into bio-based “green gasoline” by using a commercially-proven... Details →


Researchers develop new catalysts for a direct Fischer-Tropsch to olefins (FTO) process

Researchers in the Netherlands have demonstrated the direct conversion of synthesis gas through a Fischer-Tropsch process to C2 through C4 light olefins with selectivity up to 60 wt.% using catalysts that constitute iron nanoparticles (promoted by sulfur sodium) homogeneously dispersed on weakly interactive α-alumina or carbon nanofiber supports. A... Details →


The steam hydrogasification reaction is one component of a three-step process for the production of fuels. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CERT) at the Bourns College of Engineering have received two grants to further explore a steam hydrogasification process... Details →


DOE to award up to $14M to 6 new projects to advance IGCC with carbon capture technology for coal-fired plants

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award up to $14 million to six projects aimed at developing technologies to lower the cost of producing electricity in integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plants using carbon capture. The selected projects are intended to improve the economics of IGCC plants and... Details →


The TCEP would integrate coal gasification, combined-cycle power generation, CO2 capture, and urea production. CO2 capture and shipment via pipeline shown at top. Click to enlarge. Summit Power Group, LLC and Blue Strategies, LLC have signed a 15-year CO2 offtake agreement with Whiting Petroleum Corporation for some of the CO2... Details →


Chesapeake Energy to invest some $1B over 10 years to support natural gas demand, infrastructure and end-use technologies; $305M in initial investments in Clean Energy Fuels and Sundrop Fuels

Chesapeake Energy Corporation plans to create a $1.0-billion venture capital fund over the next 10 years, Chesapeake NG Ventures Corporation (CNGV), dedicated to identifying and investing in companies and technologies that will replace the use of gasoline and diesel with natural gas and natural gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuels. Chesapeake is the... Details →


Terminal voltages measured at 750 °C as a function of time for the cells with (blue line) and without (red line) BaO/Ni interfaces operated at a constant current density of 500 mA cm-2 with wet CO (with ~3 v% H2O) as the fuel. Yang et al. Click to enlarge. Using... Details →


Linc Energy taking stake in aboveground gasification company; potential CTL introduction in US

Australia’s Linc Energy, a developer of underground coal gasification and synthetic fuels projects, has signed an exclusive agreement with PowerHouse Energy Inc, a provider of onsite energy systems that uses fossil and renewable fuels to generate electricity and synthetic gas via the Pyromex ultra high temperature above-ground gasification (UHTG) process.... Details →


Waste Management and Genomatica enter strategic joint development agreement to produce chemicals from MSW syngas

Waste Management and Genomatica, an industrial biotech company targeting sustainable chemicals (earlier post), have formed a strategic joint development agreement to research and advance Genomatica’s technology and manufacturing processes to enable production of intermediate and basic chemicals from syngas made from municipal solid waste. Under the agreement, Genomatica will create... Details →


Schematic diagram of the biomass-gasification-reforming system. Credit: ACS, Wang et al. Click to enlarge. A team from the Key Laboratory of Renewable Energy and Gas Hydrate, Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences reports on a pilot-scale biomass-gasification-reforming system with optimized catalyst to produce synthesis gas for liquid... Details →


Celanese signs MOU with Wison for coal-derived syngas for ethanol production in China; transaction value approx. $815M

Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Wison (China) Holding Co., Ltd., a Chinese synthesis gas supplier, for the production of certain feedstocks used in Celanese’s advanced ethanol production process. (Earlier post.) Wison plans to invest in a coal gasification unit... Details →


USDA providing $405M in conditional loan guarantees for three biorefinery projects

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $405 million in conditional loan guarantees for three biorefinery projects, all of which use gasification as an initial stage in their processes. The Biorefinery Assistance Program (Section 9003 of the 2008 Farm Bill) provides loan guarantees to entrepreneurs seeking to take advantage... Details →


Two decoupling approaches applied in developing DCG technologies. The shaded rounded rectangles represent the major component reactions in gasification. Credit: ACS, Zhang et al. Click to enlarge. Researchers at the State Key Laboratory of Multiphase Complex System, Institute of Process Engineering (IPE), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) are proposing a... Details →


Cost of carbon abated for transport applications. Click to enlarge. Bio-SNG (Synthetic Natural Gas) delivered via the gas grid offers CO2 lifecycle savings of up to 90% compared with fossil fuel alternatives, and offer sa more cost-effective solution than electricity for carbon abatement in transport applications, according to a new... Details →


Reactor system process and instrumentation. Inset shows more detail on the reactor vessel. Source: Purdue University. Click to enlarge. Researchers at Purdue University have developed a facility aimed at learning the chemical kinetic processes in coal and biomass gasification to improve thermodynamic efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of the... Details →


LanzaTech in Coal to Ethanol Project in China; New Bio Energy Research Center

New Zealand-based Lanzatech, the developer of gas fermentation technology for producing ethanol and high value chemicals (e.g.: MEK, Butadiene) from industrial waste gases, has signed a memorandum of understanding with one of the largest coal producers in China, Henan Coal and Chemical Industrial Corporation, to build a demonstration plant to... Details →


Uhde Gasification Selected for Commercial Biomass-to-Methanol Plant in Sweden

VärmlandsMetanol AB has selected Uhde, a ThyssenKrupp company, as technology supplier and engineering partner for a biomass-to-methanol plant in Hagfors, Sweden, with an annual production of 100,000 tonnes of fuel-grade methanol from forest-residue biomass. Investment for the plant will be about SEK 3 billion (US$416 million). The VärmlandsMetanol plant will... Details →


LanzaTech Pulls in $18M in Series B Funding; Qiming Ventures Leads

New Zealand-based waste gas and syngas to fuels company LanzaTech (earlier post) has attracted US$18 million in Series B financing from investors led by China-focused venture capital firm Qiming Ventures. LanzaTech uses proprietary bacteria to convert industrial waste gases into fuels and chemicals. The financing follows LanzaTech’s signing with Baosteel,... Details →


Schematic diagram of the two-stage pyrolysis-gasification experimental system. Credit: ACS, Elbaba et al.Click to enlarge. A team at the University of Leeds (UK) is investigating hydrogen production from waste tires using a two-stage pyrolysis-gasification reactor and Ni-Mg-Al (1:1:1) catalyst. A paper describing their work was published online 10 June in... Details →


Successful Engineering Validation Flight of US Commercial Jet Using 40:60 Synthetic Jet Fuel Blend

United Airlines has conducted a successful engineering validation flight using Rentech’s certified synthetic jet fuel (RenJet). The validation flight was conducted using a 40:60 mix of Rentech’s synthetic jet fuel with conventional Jet A fuel in one of two engines on an Airbus 319 aircraft. The aircraft departed Denver International... Details →


NETL Soliciting R&D Projects for Co-Production of Power, Fuels, and Chemicals via Coal/Biomass Mixtures

The US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has issued a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) soliciting research projects that will address key challenges related to the utilization of coal-biomass mixtures for co-production of power and hydrogen, fuels, and/or chemicals. NETL estimates total program funding for the cooperative... Details →


Left: PRENFLO PDQ gasifier. Right: Flow diagram of the PRENFLO PDQ process. Click to enlarge. Uhde is contributing its proprietary PRENFLO gasification process with direct quench to the French BioTfueL research project (earlier post). BioTfueL is integrating the various technology stages of the biomass-to-liquid process with the intention of commercialization.... Details →


ECP Developing Plasma-Assisted Compact Fischer-Tropsch Gas-to-Liquids System

France-based ECP is developing compact plasma-assisted gas-to-liquids (GTL) technology based on the use of a Compact Plate Reformer and high-temperature iron catalyst. ECP’s Dr. Albin Czernichowski, a professor with the University of Orleans, France, presented two papers on different aspects of the system today at the 239th National Meeting of... Details →


ClearFuels to Develop Co-Located Commercial-Scale Biorefinery for Renewable Jet or Diesel Production in Tennessee

Biomass-to-liquids company ClearFuels Technology Inc. and Hughes Hardwood International, Inc. have executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the development of a commercial scale biorefinery facility for the production of renewable jet or diesel fuel. The renewable energy facility will be co-located with Hughes Hardwood’s wood component products manufacturing facility... Details →


The Enerkem process has four steps: feedstock pre-treatment; gasification; syngas conditioning; and conversion. Click to enlarge. Waste Management has made a strategic investment in Enerkem, a developer of a thermochemical (gasification and catalytic synthesis) process to produce synthetic fuels and chemicals from biomass and waste, as part of Enerkem’s new... Details →


Peabody Energy and GreatPoint Energy To Partner on Coal-to-Gas and Coal-to-Hydrogen Facilities with Carbon Capture and Storage

Overview of the bluegas catalytic coal methanation process. Click to enlarge. Peabody Energy and GreatPoint Energy signed an agreement to pursue development of coal-to-gas and coal-to-hydrogen projects in the United States and around the world with carbon capture and storage (CCS) that would achieve near-zero carbon emissions, while increasing the... Details →


British Airways, in partnership with the Solena Group, will establish Europe’s first plant for sustainable jet-fuel and plans to use the low-carbon fuel to power part of its fleet from 2014. The plant will gasify waste biomass, and use a Fischer-Tropsch process to convert the resulting syngas to biojet fuel... Details →


ClearFuels Adds BNP Paribas to Commercial Development Team for BTL Diesel and Jet Fuel Biorefineries

ClearFuels Technology Inc. has executed a letter of engagement with BNP Paribas to act as financial advisor to assist and support ClearFuels in securing senior secured debt financing for its commercial thermochemical Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL) biorefinery projects. The agreement calls for BNP Paribas to assist and support ClearFuels with the analytical... Details →


Overview of Syntec’s B2A process. Click to enlarge. Syntec Biofuel Inc. has entered into a joint development program with the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks for converting a wide variety of biomass and waste into bio-butanol. The core process... Details →


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