Friday, June 12, 2009

BTL, Black Liquor Gasifiers, Diesel Fuel Cells etc.

Finland's Neste Oil continues to lead the pack for production of ingenious biofuels methods. Now it is teaming with Enso to build a BTL pilot plant for producing biocrude from forestry waste.
The demonstration facility at Stora Enso Varkaus Mill includes a 12 MW gasifier. It will be used to develop technologies and engineering solutions for a commercial-scale plant. The demonstration process units will cover all stages, including drying of biomass, gasification, gas cleaning and testing of Fischer-Tropsch catalysts.

Swedish Chemrec AB is now operating a demonstration plant to produce syngas from "black liquor", a waste product of the paper and pulp industry. Formerly considered a pollutant and a significant disposal liability, black liquor appears to be quickly becoming a valuable revenue stream for these companies.
The development plant, DP-1, has a capacity of 20 metric tons of solids per day, is oxygen-blown and has an operating pressure of 30 bar(g). It gasifies black liquor, a by-product in the kraft process, using the Chemrec entrained-flow, high temperature technology. This technology is differentiated in that from a renewable feedstock in a single step it achieves full char conversion and produces a gas which is very low in methane and tars&mash;important characteristics of synthesis gas for production of synthetic motor fuels or chemicals.

The US DOE Pacific Northwest National Lab is developing a process to reform diesel fuel for use in portable fuel cells, using pressurised steam. Such a process could allow autos, trucks, trains, etc. to run off more efficient diesel powered fuel cells instead of diesel engines.

Biofuels Digest has an update on progress from Coskata and Zeachem.
ZeaChem confirmed that it is developing both fuels and chemicals on C2, C3, C4 and C5 platforms, including the two-carbon cellulosic ethanol and four-carbon biobutanol. Eggeman said that the company can also produce the two-carbon ethylene, an intermediate used to make plastics and other products, which is a $26 billion market, and also can make ethyl acetate from the C2 platform for a $3 billion market for that product. ZeaChem also is targeting the 3-carbon propylene, a $10 billion market.

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