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Renewable Gasoline And Diesel From Ligno-Cellulose Biomass

The major by-product from lignocellulosic biomass pyrolysis is Biochar which has emerging value for soil productivity enhancement and carbon sequestration. Dynamotive markets its Biochar under the trade name CQuest.
by Staff Writers
Vancouver, Canada (SPX) Apr 27, 2009
Dynamotive Energy Systems has announced that it has successfully produced significant amounts of renewable gasoline and diesel from biomass at its research facility in Waterloo Ontario through a novel two stage upgrading process of BioOil.

The process developed by Dr. Desmond Radlein and his research team, involves pyrolysis of lignocellulosic biomass to produce a primary liquid fuel, BioOil, which is then hydro-reformed to a Stage 1 gas-oil equivalent liquid fuel that can either be directly utilized in blends with hydrocarbon fuels for industrial stationary power and heating applications or be further upgraded to transportation grade liquid hydrocarbon fuels (gasoline/diesel) in a Stage 2 hydrotreating process.

The major by-product from lignocellulosic biomass pyrolysis is Biochar which has emerging value for soil productivity enhancement and carbon sequestration. Dynamotive markets its Biochar under the trade name CQuest.

Based on initial test and analysis, the Company currently estimates that it can deliver advanced (second generation) fuels from biomass at a cost of less than $ 2 per gallon of ethanol-equivalent fuel in facilities processing about 70,000 tonnes of biomass per annum (current scale of its 200 metric tonne per day plant). For further details on the process please visit Dynamotive's website

The upgrading process addresses several critical issues in the development of sustainable fuels from biomass.

1) Food vs. Fuel: The Company converts residual biomass from agricultural and forestry operations and/or dedicated non-food crops through a thermochemical process into BioOil and Biochar. BioOil and Biochar plants can coexist with existing forestry and agricultural facilities, providing an additional benefit to operations.

2) Yield: Dynamotive's pyrolysis process converts roughly 85% of the total biomass feed into useful solid (char) and liquid (BioOil) fuels. The balance is utilized to provide energy to the process.

3) Yields of Diesel/Gasoline from BioOil through the Stage 2 upgrading process of 37% have been achieved at bench-scale. The net overall yield from whole biomass to diesel/gasoline is approximately 25%, which to our knowledge is the highest ever reported.

4) Scale: Dynamotive's process is projected to be economically viable at 1/7 to 1/15 scale of competing technologies currently known or under development. It is projected that a plant processing under 70,000 tonnes of biomass a year would produce approximately 4,500,000 gallons of renewable gas-oil at under $ 2 per gallon. The scale factor enables distributed production i.e. plants can be developed in diverse locations creating sustainable "green" jobs, while being compatible with agro and forestry operations.

5) Flexibility: the two stage process developed by the Company also allows for the opportunity to further upgrade the stage 1 renewable gasoil into diesel and gasoline fuels at a centralized facility or the development of a fully integrated plant if production logistics and economics merit it. This provides for flexibility in development and application.

6) Invesent: Given the plant scale, the invesent required is comparatively low. Approximately $ 33 million will deliver a 15 year production capacity of approximately 67 million gallons of renewable transportation grade hydrocarbon fuels. This is a fraction of the capital cost per gallon and per plant required by proposed competing technologies.

7) Time to market; Dynamotive's pyrolysis platform is available today, with plants of 130 Mt and 200 Mt per day completed. The upgrading process uses conventional hydrotreaent equipment and process conditions allowing for rapid implementation at pilot and commercial scale.

8) Construction of an upgrading pilot plant is planned for later this year.

Dynamotive's path: The Company followed the philosophy that having small scale processing plants (against micro and large scale plants) would provide an opportunity for efficient management of biomass resources and economic operation.

The approach allows access to biomass pools that otherwise would not be commercially accessible and allows for the development of distributed fuel production plants.

Dynamotive's technology is in its 5th generation, having progressed since 1995 to date from bench scale to first pilot at 500 kgs day and 2,000 kgs day, second pilot at 10,000 kgs day and 15,000 kgs day and first and second commercial at 130 and 200 tpd biomass input.

The Company also followed a product development path, aiming at producing renewable fuels that could be blended seamlessly with existing hydrocarbon fuels from biomass. The objective: integrating its products to existing infrastructure and engine technologies.

In doing so provide:

1) A Biomass based refiners input that is competitively priced at source (BioOil).

2) A finished product that would be capable of competing on level terms with existing hydrocarbon based fuels.

3) A finished product that would be compatible with existing infrastructure thus avoiding cost and complexity of dedicated storage, delivery, blend ratios and engine platforms.

Dynamotive through its approach proposes a practical alternative for advanced biofuels production and use which can be competitive on its own merits against traditional fossil fuels in a wide range of economic conditions.

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Midwestern Ethanol Plants Use Much Less Water Than Western Plants
Duluth MN (SPX) Apr 20, 2009
Ethanol production in Minnesota and Iowa uses far less water overall than similar processes in states where water is less plentiful, a new University of Minnesota study shows.

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