Friday, August 08, 2008

Synthetic Fuel Plant: Jet Fuel from Garbage

Rentech has begun producing synthetic jet fuel from carbon sources at its new synthetic fuel Product Demonstration Unit (PDU) in Commerce City, Colorado. Once the gasification unit is installed, Rentech will be able to produce synthetic fuels from garbage, biomass, agricultural and forestry waste, or any other carbon source.
The Rentech Process is a patented and proprietary technology that converts synthesis gas from carbon-bearing resources into hydrocarbons that can be processed and upgraded into ultra clean synthetic jet and diesel fuels. Rentech’s Colorado facility provides a platform for the production of these products from a wide variety of resources, including waste materials, into fuels that could have a potentially carbon neutral or even carbon negative footprint. These fuels are also cleaner burning and more efficient than petroleum-derived fuels. The PDU is currently producing synthetic fuels from natural gas, and once gasification is added, it will also be capable of producing fuels from biomass and other fossil resources.

Rentech believes the design of the PDU will verify the engineering parameters for scale-up to commercial operations. In addition, the PDU provides the Company with valuable engineering, design and process knowledge that will be transferred to the planning and construction of its commercial scale facilities.

Achieving production at the PDU is the result of the successful operation and integration of all processes at the facility, including the steam methane reformer for the production of synthesis gas; the conversion of the synthesis gas in the Rentech reactor into clean hydrocarbons; the separation of the Rentech catalyst from the wax produced from the reactor; and the processing and upgrading of the hydrocarbons into ultra-clean synthetic fuels using UOP hydrocracking and hydrotreating technologies. Rentech and UOP maintain an alliance which provides a one-stop solution to developers of commercial synthetic fuels facilities worldwide for synthesis gas conversion and product upgrading.

With the PDU successfully operating, the Company will focus on confirming and refining the design parameters of the Rentech Process during longer-term production runs as well as the effect of various operating parameters on product yields and composition. _Source_via_NEN
Initial production uses natural gas as feedstock for conversion to jet fuels. Installation of the gasification unit will allow the use of any carbon source including garbage, for feedstock.

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