GS CleanTech to Offer Biomass Gasification and Fuels Technology to Improve Corn Ethanol Yield
28 July 2006
GS CleanTech Corporation has signed an agreement with ZeroPoint Clean Technology, Inc. for the exclusive rights to distribute and use ZeroPoint’s proprietary biomass gasification, biomass gas-to-liquids (BTL) and fuel-reforming technology in the ethanol production industry.
GS CleanTech initially plans to offer the gasification and BTL technology as an element in a suite of technologies designed to increase the yield from corn ethanol production.
Traditional corn ethanol processing converts each bushel of corn, which weighs about 54 pounds, into about 18 pounds of ethanol, 18 pounds of carbon dioxide, and 18 pounds of distillers dried grains (DDG), which contain about 2 pounds of fat. This corresponds to a corn to clean fuel conversion efficiency of about 33%, or about 2.8 gallons of clean fuel per bushel of corn. GS CleanTech’s ambition is to increase this efficiency as much as possible.
GS CleanTech’s patent-pending corn oil extraction and biodiesel processing technologies convert the fat in the DDG into a high-grade corn oil that can then be converted into biodiesel on close to a 1:1 volumetric basis. This increases the corn to clean fuel conversion efficiency described above to 36%, or about 3.0 gallons of clean fuel per bushel of corn. (Earlier post.)
The ZeroPoint technology has the potential to add to the corn to clean fuel conversion efficiency by gasifying the remaining 16 pounds of defatted DDG in the above example and using the resultant syngas to generate electricity and to produce additional ethanol with the Fischer-Tropsch process.
We believe that deploying the ZeroPoint technology in concert with our turn-key corn oil extraction and biodiesel processing technologies will potentially enable us to increase the corn to clean fuel conversion efficiency from 33% to more than 48%, or from 2.8 to more than an incredible 3.9 gallons of clean fuel per bushel of corn. We are very excited by the potential of this technology in our program and its ability to create additional opportunities for ethanol producers and their regional communities to maximize the clean fuel yield out of existing crops.—David Winsness, GS CleanTech’s President and COO
ZeroPoint’s Biomass Gasifier is designed to standardize variable biomass feeds and produce high yields of high-quality syngas in real-time with greatly increased capital and operating cost efficiencies at smaller scales as compared to traditional gasification technologies.
The syngas output of ZeroPoint’s gasifier can either be used to generate electricity in a standard gas-fired generator or catalyzed into liquid fuels such as ethanol or diesel substitutes with the Fischer-Tropsch process.
We believe that the ZeroPoint technology is the most effective commercially viable technology available for gasifying biomass. The technology is modular and capable of small and large scale applications. It is flexible and can readily accommodate increasing and variable capacities with variable feeds, and it can be manufactured with rapid delivery cycles. For GS CleanTech, the ZeroPoint technology adds significant additional capability to our clean fuel technology program.—David Winsness
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