Modular liquid fuel production via gasification of abundant carbonaceous feed-stocks is the holy grail of gasification. The reason for this is that small systems capable of converting lignite coal and biomass streams such as elephant grass, wood chips or agricultural wastes into liquid fuels would be capable of being deployed at virtually any location and convert a feedstock into a valuable, transportable liquid fuel. Of particular interest is the production of butanol from these feedstocks, as butanol can be used directly in internal combustion engines without modification. Butanol of course is a very clean and green fuel which if deployed on a global scale would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the global deployment of butanol will generate billions of dollars in carbon tax credits which are currently worth approximately $17/tone and are anticipated to climb to as high as $100/tone by 2012.
Gasification systems required for liquid fuel production are more complex than those used for electrical production. The reason for this is that the synthesis gas used for fuel production must be of much higher purity than that for electricity production. In particular, it must consist primarily of CO, CO2 and H2, with relatively little nitrogen. This requirement necessitates that the gasifier include an oxygen enrichment plant and/or a steam generator to supply the oxygen for the system rather than simply using air. Nitrogen dilutes the syngas and use of dilute syngas to produce fuel requires very large and uneconomical compressors and other equipment.
Energy Quest Cleanup
As with electrical production from syngas, depending on the type of gasifier, the produced syngas will contain tars, liquids and other impurities. Energy Quest’s gasification systems include syngas cleanup technologies for removing these impurities. This is also an important facet of the technology for liquid fuel production.
Fuel production from gasifier syngas is accomplished through a catalytic conversion process. The carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen are passed at elevated temperatures and pressures through a chamber that contains a catalyst that converts these gases to liquid fuels such as methanol, ethanol, and butanol. Catalytic production of methanol from synthesis gas is very well known processes. A number of companies, including Energy Quest, are gearing up to employ proprietary processes for the production of methanol and butanol. A key to production of butanol is the right catalytic conversion technology.
Energy Quest Technology
Energy Quest has access to proprietary catalytic technology for the production of methanol, ethanol and butanol. Energy Quest is working with engineers and scientists that it will help bring to bear the efficacy of its technology. We believe that our technology will prove superior, using modular production of these fuels, compared to that of our competitors. Of particular interest is Energy Quest’s superior technology for the production of butanol. Below is a simple process flow diagram of the intended system:
In addition to being able to produce butanol at very competitive prices, production of fuels from biomass and waste streams offers the opportunity to take advantage of carbon credit trading. Biomass gasification fuel production qualifies as green fuel and can therefore be used for carbon offset from fossil fuels. Carbon credits for carbon dioxide offset have currently reached $17 per tone are expected to reach $100/tone by 2012. These credits will represent a very significant additional revenue stream for green fuel production, thereby enhancing the economics of this already very attractive opportunity. Energy Quest in this instance would become a net seller of carbon credits. These carbon credits alone represent an opportunity worth millions of dollars in incremental revenues, in addition to revenues from the sale of butanol as a primary fuel. Energy Quest is confident that revenues generated from such carbon credits under the aforementioned scenario would over a relatively short period of time offset the entire capital cost of deploying the technology on a global scale.