BtL GtL Choren Biofuel or Cellulose?
Cellulosic ethanol companies leading the industry:
Abengoa Constructing the world's first commercial scale cellulosic ethanol biorefinery in Babilafuente (Salamanca), Spain using some components from SunOpta. Commissioning is expected to start in the summer of 2007. In 2006 Q4, a partnership was announced with Dyadic. Later this year, Abengoa plans to start conversion of a corn-based ethanol plant they own in York, Neb., into a bio-mass ethanol facility, which would initially use small grain straw and corn stover as the bio-mass feedstock.View or Post Comments
Alico In early 2007 the Dept of Energy announced it would award the company up to $33 million. The proposed plant will be in LaBelle (Hendry County), Florida. The plant will produce 13.9 million gallons of ethanol a year and 6,255 kilowatts of electric power, as well as 8.8 tons of hydrogen and 50 tons of ammonia per day. For feedstock, the plant will use 770 tons per day of yard, wood, and vegetative wastes and eventually energycane.
Archer Daniels Midland ADM is agressively studying how to produce cellulosic ethanol out of parts of the corn kernal that are traditionally not used for ethanol. ADM's new CEO Patricia Woertz (formerly the head of petroleum refining at Chevron) was quoted in March of 2007 saying: "We believe this process would boost our production of ethanol by 15% without requiring an additional ear of corn. Cellulosic applications such as this, on existing feedstocks, may be as little as 2 years away."
American Process, Inc. Inventor of AVAP technology which will be used at the Flambeau River Biorefinery project in Park Falls, WI. It will be the first modern U.S. based pulp mill biorefinery to produce cellulosic ethanol from from spent pulping liquor. Project engineering has commenced with a production of ethanol expected to begin as early as 2009.
BRI Energy Developed a process that uses gasification, fermentation and distillation to produce ethanol and electricity from a wide array of carbon-based wastes.
BlueFire Plans to use the Arkenol Technology Process (which has been used in Izumi, Japan since 2002) for creating cellulosic ethanol. View or Post Comments
Ceres Privately-held plant biotech company utilizing genomics technologies to develop energy crops, such as switchgrass, for cellulosic ethanol.
Colusa Though its stock is not for the faint of heart, the company is highly regarded by industry peers. Colusa has already harvested the rice straw which it expects to convert to ethanol when its California bio-refinery comes online in Q4 2007.
DuPont Partnering with Broin to bring cost-effective ethanol derived from corn stover to market. A pilot cellulosic ethanol production program is planned for South Dakota later in 2007.
Dyadic Spent over a decade of R&D in the design and development of enzymes for the increasingly efficient extraction of sugars from biomass. In 2006 Q4, a partnership was announced with Abengoa. View or Post Comments
Globex Developing supercritical fluid (SCF) which will be used along with enzymatic hydrolysis for the production of cellulosic ethanol.
Green Star Products Inc. Developed a waterless continuous flow process reactor system which will be used in upcoming cellulose ethanol plants planned for North Carolina and the Northwest.
Iogen Corp. Operates a demonstration scale facility to convert biomass to cellulose ethanol using enzymatic hydrolysis technology. Full scale commercial facilities are being planned. It is very likely they will annouce plans for an Idaho plant that will make ethanol from wheat straw.
Lignol Energy Corporation A western Canadian company, Lignol plans to build biorefineries for ethanol and co-products produced from Canadian forests. The Company has acquired and modified a solvent based pre-treatment technology originally developed by a subsidiary of General Electric (.GE.). Lignol also acquired the original GE pilot plant that is now being integrated with recently developed process capabilities to convert cellulose to ethanol.
Mascoma With a new CTO who spent over 10 years with SunOpta, Mascoma is developing bio and process technology for cost-effective conversion of cellulosic biomass. Khosla Ventures is a Mascoma investor.
Nova Fuels (maker of Novahol) Develops biomass-to-fuel conversion facilities (that use gasification technology) with joint venture partners.
Novozymes Developing enzymes that can convert cellulose into simple sugars, for fermentation into fuel ethanol. Has had collaboration/partnerships with Abengoa and Broin. View or Post Comments
Poet The Broin Companies changed their name to Poet on March 30, 2007. The largest dry mill ethanol producers in the US, Poet is collaborating with Novozymes in the research and development of cellulose ethanol technology. Poet will expand their Emmetsburg, Iowa facility to include cellulosic ethanol production from corn hulls and cobs. Completion is expected in 2009.
PureEnergy Developed a two-stage dilute acid hydrolysis technology process which will be used in the forthcoming Green Star Products, Inc projects.
Range Fuels The Colorado based company, formerly known as Kergy is funded by Khosla Ventures. It claims it can produce more cellulosic ethanol for a given amount of energy expended than is possible with any other competing process. Just as noteworthy: The design allows them to "bring systems to sources where biomass is most plentiful, instead of having to transport biomass to a central processing site." It should be known that some in the cellulosic industry tend to scoff at Range's process because they use gasification instead of fermentation. Regardless, the Dept of Energy still awarded the company up to $76 million to build a commercial cellulosic ethanol plant in the U.S. at a site near Soperton, Georgia.
SunOpta Built the first cellulosic ethanol plant 20 years ago, in France. Has four cellulosic ethanol projects which are or will be operational using SunOpta's technology and equipment to produce ethanol from cellulosic biomass: 1.SunOpta provided its systems and technology to China Resources Alcohol Corporation (CRAC) in September 2006 and the plant began production of ethanol from local corn stover in October 2006. 2.Key components of SunOpta's equipment and technology have recently been shipped to Spain for the start up of the Abengoa wheat straw to ethanol facility located in Salamanca, Spain. This project is expected to start up in the summer of 2007. 3.SunOpta's equipment and technology will be used in a new Celunol facility being built in Jennings, Louisiana, to produce ethanol from sugarcane bagasse and wood. This will be the first commercial production of cellulosic ethanol plant in the United States and is scheduled to start up in the summer of 2007. 4.Recently announced the formation of a Joint Venture with GreenField Ethanol Inc., Canada's largest producer of ethanol. The purpose of this Joint Venture is to design, build and jointly own and operate plants producing ethanol from wood chips. View or Post Comments
Verenium In June of 2007, Verenium was formed from a merger between Celunol and Diversa. Partnering with Dupont and researching multiple enzyme "cocktails" to break down cellulosic biomass. Purchased biomass-to-ethanol technology from SunOpta. The system will complement its own proprietary technology. In February 2007, Verenium broke ground on a 1.4 million gallon per year (MGY) demonstration facility located adjacent to its cellulosic pilot facility in Jennings, Louisiana. The facility is designated to operate on diverse regional feedstocks including sugarcane bagasse and specially-bred energy cane. The facility is slated for first operations in early 2008. Commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facilities are slated for completion by 2010. Khosla Ventures is a Verenium investor.
Virgin Fuels In September 2006, Sir Richard Branson pledged an estimated $3 billion to fight global warming. A large chunk of that is expected to be invested in cellulosic ethanol research and production.
Xethanol Recently announced aggressive plans for its new BlueRidgeXethanol company to begin producing cellulose ethanol in Spring Hope, NC by Feb. 2007 using acid hydrolysis. Plans to construct a 50 million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant in Augusta, GA which would begin producing ethanol by mid-2007.
Biomass to liquid (BTL) or BMTL is a (multi step) process to produce liquid biofuels from biomass:
The process uses the whole plant to improve the CO2 balance and increase yield.
The Fischer Tropsch process is used to produce synfuels from gasified biomass. While biodiesel and bio-ethanol production so far only use parts of a plant, i.e. oil, sugar, starch or cellulose, BTL production uses the whole plant which is gasified by gasification. The result is that for BTL, less land area is required per unit of energy produced compared with biodiesel or bio-ethanol.
Flash Pyrolysis - producing bio-oil, char and gas at temperatures between 350-550Â°C and residence times < 1 second (also called anhydrous pyrolysis).
Catalytic depolymerization - using heat and catalysts to separate usable diesel fuel from hydrocarbon wastes.
Shell Takes Minority Stake in Biomass-to-Liquids Producer CHOREN 17 August 2005
CHOREN.s Carbo-V Biomass Gasification Process
Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH has acquired a minority equity stake in CHOREN Industries, the producers of a synthetic diesel.SunDiesel.via a Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL) process.
Shell.s buy-in sets the stage for construction of a 15,000 tonnes/year commercial facility for the BTL production of the synthetic diesel.
The heart of CHOREN.s technology is its patented Carbo-V Biomass-gasification process that converts biomass into ultra-clean tar-free synthetic gas.
The Carbo-V Process is a three-stage gasification process using:
Low-temperature gasification. Biomass (with a water content of 15%.20%) is continually carbonized through partial oxidation (low-temperature pyrolysis) with air or oxygen at temperatures between 400º C and 500Â° C, i.e. it is broken down into a gas containing tar (volatile parts) and solid carbon (char).
High-temperature gasification. The gas containing tar is post-oxidized using air and/or oxygen in a combustion chamber operating above the melting point of the fuelâ..s ash to turn it into a hot gasification medium.
Endothermic entrained bed gasification. The char is ground down into pulverized fuel and is blown into the hot gasification medium. The pulverized fuel and the gasification medium react endothermically in the gasification reactor and are converted into a raw synthesis gas. Once this has been treated in the appropriate manner, it can be used as a combustible gas for generating electricity, steam and heat or as a syngas.
The syngas can then be converted into synthetic biofuels using the same Shell Middle Distillate Synthesis (SMDS) technology that Shell has developed for Gas-to-Liquids production (conversion of natural gas into synthetic oil products). Shell.s SMDS is a low-temperature, cobalt catalyst-based version of the Fischer-Tropsch GTL process.
The BTL fuels are identical in composition and properties to GTL fuels.and they have the added advantage of being based on renewable feedstocks.
BTL Fuel is as clear and virtually free of sulfur and aromatic substances. Its ignition qualities (as measured by a very high cetane number) are excellent, thereby reducing noise and resulting in cleaner combustion than with conventional diesel. Greenhouse gas emissions from BTL Fuel are less than 10% of those from fossil fuels. Moreover, BTL Fuel can either be used as a pure product or in a blend with conventional diesel fuel.
Unlike biodiesel production, BTL uses the entire plant, thus theoretically requiring less land use per unit of energy. The combined process of energy conversion and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, however, is energy intensive.and more so when using biomass as a feedstock than natural gas. On a Well-to-Wheels basis, BTL diesel is far better from a greenhouse gas emissions perspective than any other variant of synthetic or conventional petroleum fuel (except for DME from biomass) or conventional biofuel, but the worst in terms of energy requirement.
In the next two to three decades, liquid fuels will continue to dominate the market. Climate protection measures will mean that the share accounted for by biofuels is set to increase. We want to proactively participate in this shift as part of our commitment to the concept of sustainable mobility and maintain our leadership in formulating advanced fuels.
.Rob Routs, Executive Director Downstream, Shell
Volkswagen and DaimlerChrysler have been collaborating with Choren on the production SunDiesel since 2002 due to the cleaner-burning characteristics of the fuel. Tests have shown that Euro 3 engines can achieve Euro 4 level emissions when using SunDiesel.