Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rentech Chooses Rialto for Silva Gas Plant

Image from GreenCarCongress
The Rialto, California plant will take waste biomass from municipal waste streams and convert it to electricity and diesel -- via syngas. The process will utilise Fischer Tropsch synthesis for conversion of syngas to diesel.
The Rialto Renewable Energy Center (Rialto Project) is designed to produce approximately 600 barrels per day of renewable synthetic fuels and export approximately 35 MW of renewable electric power. The carbon footprint of the plant is designed to be near zero as the fuels and power would be produced only from renewable feedstocks.

RenDiesel, the renewable synthetic diesel to be produced at the facility, meets all applicable fuels standards, is compatible with existing engines and pipelines and burns cleanly, with emissions of particulates and other regulated pollutants significantly lower than the emissions from the combustion of CARB ultra-low sulfur diesel. The low carbon footprint of RenDiesel would help the transportation sector meet targets established by the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

The power generated by the Rialto Project is expected to qualify under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program, which requires utilities to increase the amount of electric power they sell from qualified renewable-energy resources. The plant will be capable of providing enough electricity for approximately 30,000 homes. _GreenCarCongress
Rentech is better known for its coal to liquids (CTL) process, but biomass to liquid (BTL) will have much wider application for local and regional waste to energy applications. Dedicated biomass crops such as switchgrass, salicornia, and fast growing poplar strains should also make BTL more widely profitable, once the infrastructure is more mature. Notice that cellulosic electricity (along with combined cycle heat recovery) is a natural fellow traveler with BTL.

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