Solids Handling System for Biomass Conversion

Award Information
Department of Energy
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Altex Technologies Corporation
244 Sobrante Way, Sunnyvale, CA, 94086-4087
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
John Kelly
(408) 328-8302
Business Contact:
Mehdi Namazian
(408) 328-8303
Research Institution:
To produce drop-in biofuel from lignocellulosic biomass materials at prices competitive to fossil fuels requires consistent and reliable solid biomass feeders for pressurized reactors. Experience with coal has not been reliable, and the lower density and more irregular configurations of raw biomass create even more feed problems. Preprocessing to create a more dense and consistent feed can help, but costs are high. New preprocessing methods are required to improve the feeding to pressurized reactors. Furthermore, if these methods could enhance biomass handling, storage and transport from the field, and thereby reduce costs, this innovation would be highly desired. General statement of how this problem is being addressed In the proposed Densified Biomass Feed process, a consistently sized and dense biomass feed is used with novel feed equipment to reliably transport solids into pressurized reactors, and then optimally size the material for compatibility with a range of conversion reactors. Besides allowing consistent feeding of pressurized reactors, the densified biomass has handling, storage and transport advantages over raw biomass and a considerable cost advantage over alternative approaches. Under the proposed project, available densification and sizing equipment will be integrated and tested to show how biomass can be reliably fed into pressurized reactors, and then optimally sized for the reactor of interest. Three biomass materials of interest will be tested. Analysis will then determine the performance and estimated cost of the approach when applied to full scale biofuels plants. Of particular interest will be how the proposed process can support the under development low cost Biomass to Fuel end-to-end drop-in liquid fuel (eg. Gasoline) process. One Biomass to Fuel conversion plant with the Densified Biomass Feed innovation can produce 23 million gallons of synthetic gasoline each year. Assuming that all of the 500 million tons/year biomass is processed approximately 33 billion gallons of fuel would be produced, valued at $73 billion per year. Greenhouse gases would be reduced by 291 million tons per year. The Biomass to Fuel low fuel production cost of $1.38 per gallon will drive the realization of these benefits.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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