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Successful Trial of Clyvia Depolymerization Plant to Convert Waste Oil to Diesel

8 August 2006

Clyvia Technology GmbH has successfully converted 3 tonnes (approximately 3.3 US tons) of waste oil into 2,000 liters (1.7 tonnes or approximately 528 US gal.) of diesel-like light oil in a large scale trial run of its pilot fractional deploymerization plant.

In the process, waste oil is pre-heated to 170° C prior to being fed into the plant reactor containing a catalyst compound. In the reactor, the waste oil is brought to a temperature of 400° C. The light oil then produced by the reactor process is extracted into a distillation tower.

The catalytic depolymerization process used in Clyvia Technology’s pilot plant is similar to the cracking of crude oil. The thermal treatment process shortens the long hydrocarbons in the waste to the length of diesel or heating oil.

The Clyvia process splits the longer molecules without forming methane, meaning that the Clyvia system does not produce major quantities of coke. The system is different from pyrolytic processes used to split hydrocarbon molecules, which require extremely high reactive temperatures, significantly increasing the cost of the process, and producing high amounts of waste carbon byproduct.

Initial gas-chromatographic tests conducted by Clyvia Technology have shown that the oil produced by the trial contain the expected distribution of diesel hydrocarbon chains. Density measurements conducted by Clyvia Technology have also been positive, according to the company.

Clyvia Technology has submitted the diesel output produced during the trial run to an external independent laboratory where it will be tested to check if it complies with diesel norm DIN EN 590 (the European standard for diesel fuel).

Tests of earlier output did not produce diesel fuel meeting low-sulfur requirements, although it did meet “most” of the fuel parameters required under international fuel standard DIN 51603-1, according to Clyvia’s most recent annual report. (Earlier post.)

The current round of development and testing in the new pilot plant are focused on producing diesel fuels that meet necessary sulfur content requirements.

August 8, 2006 in Diesel, Fuels | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0)

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how much energy goes into this is what I want to know. All of these crop fuels are produced with no actual need to be economically or ecologically benoficial because they come with immense tax benefits. I'm ont saying oil doesn't have the same but I just want to know if this is a positive or negative net energy and if positive, how positive?

Net energy should be positive, as some of the output, or input in this case, can be used for heat.

There is a similar plant in Missouri or Illinois somewhere, next to a turkey processing plant. Anyone know how that plant is doing?

Net energy should be positive, as some of the output, or input in this case, can be used for heat.

There is a similar plant in Missouri or Illinois somewhere, next to a turkey processing plant. Anyone know how that plant is doing?

The Thermal Depolymerization (a.k.a. Thermal Conversion Process) plant you are referring to is located in Carthage, MO. Read through this discussion if you are interested and have the time. Changing World Technologies have their own website, but be warned, there is a lot of salesman talk and little of technical value. If you want a goo technical discussion, see the MIT lecture on the process. To get even more technical, see this paper - but be aware it is outdated. Actual plant performance does not meet the expectations used as a basis for the paper.

For more recent production data, see CWT's website. If you do the math, you'll see they produce far less oil per ton of waste than originally expected. While they keep repeating their 85% efficiency claim, the data makes it look more dubious all the time.

Also note that there has been some smell complaints which seems to have been resolved by now.

As you may notice from the first listed discussion, it is worth mentioning that:
1. TDP has not been demonstrated to convert any organic waste into oil. In Carthage, it is only converting fat/oil, the proteins leave the plant as "amino acid rich" effluent. The expert salespeople explain that this is s great fertilizer.
2. CWT has a bad habit of greatly overestimating how much oil can be produced from US waste. Rather than "replacing all imports" using all agricultural waste would replace about 3% of all US oil use.
3. This technology (both CWT and Clyvia TDP) will effectively beat out biodiesel in any large scale application - TDP can use a far dirtier feedstock than biodiesel and produce a far superior product (chemically almost identical to fossil diesel, only cleaner).

CWT's original plan was to convert 200 tons of turkey guts into 500 barrels of oil a day, but the plant has had difficulties with noxious odors and has been shut down a couple of times. Seems to be in production now, but they are producing oil at a cost of about $80 a barrel, slightly over the market rate. Not sure if they qualify for the energy production incentives, they didn't used to qualify, but the 2005 Energy Bill was changed to include them, I believe. Just read on BioDieselNow that they are up to 350 bb day, link below.
http://www.changingworldtech.com/information_center/importantupdate.asp
CWT behaves like a combination huckster and paranoid genius, if the Discover article had been half true we would have had these plants building all over, but even if it is only partly true it is a technique well worth trying. They claimed to be 85% energy efficient and it appears they are in that ballpark.

CWT's original plan was to convert 200 tons of turkey guts into 500 barrels of oil a day, but the plant has had difficulties with noxious odors and has been shut down a couple of times. Seems to be in production now, but they are producing oil at a cost of about $80 a barrel, slightly over the market rate. Not sure if they qualify for the energy production incentives, they didn't used to qualify, but the 2005 Energy Bill was changed to include them, I believe. Just read on BioDieselNow that they are up to 350 bb day, link below.
http://www.changingworldtech.com/information_center/importantupdate.asp
CWT behaves like a combination huckster and paranoid genius, if the Discover article had been half true we would have had these plants building all over, but even if it is only partly true it is a technique well worth trying. They claimed to be 85% energy efficient and it appears they are in that ballpark.

Ziv,
You are right about the cost. It is worth noting that:
1. RES is paying the equivalent of $20 - 30/bbl for the feedstock, thanks to our corrupt politicians still allowing farm animals to be fed turkey guts. "What, us worry about mad cow?"
2. Since the beginning of the year RES is getting a $1/gal ($42/bbl) subsidy per the 2005 Energy Bill (the famous "No Lobbyist Left Behind" Bill).

So factoring those in, Carthage should be doing well right now...

Sorry about the double post, but I would just like to post this followup to the original Discover article, a lot less optimistic but a heck of a lot more reasonable.
An Engineer, I spent hours one time wading through BioDieselNow and a couple other forums and I thought that they were calculating the process to be about 75-80% efficient, am I wrong about that? And one more request, could someone clue me in on how to set up a live link?

http://www.discover.com/issues/apr-06/features/anything-oil/

As mentioned: "BTW, at 3.55 bbl/dry ton, the TDP efficiency (oil production only) is about 60%." I think it is fair to only base efficiency on oil production, as any large scale application will primarily have to balance the books using oil sales, anything else is going to be a bonus.

Live links: Ask Dr Google about that one...

You guys are off on a tangent..

This process process converts most waste motor oils,flushing oils, crude oils etc, polyethylene and polypropylene type plastics into EN590 Diesel, not turkey guts or biomass

This is a unique process that looks like being the only type of this technology... and they have a working plant!

This site breaks it down

http://www.globalfinest.com/tech

I agree with the engineer's comment that people here are off on a tangent. Globalfinest.com is currently selling a selfcontained plant that is energy positive and non poluting that converts waste oil and various plastics into diesel fuel.

There is also another similar outfit out of Washington state called Greenpower.com that converts almost any waste into diesel fuel.

I'm no engineer but it seems to me that nowhere near enough attention is being focused on this exciting new, sustainable technology.

JL

Getting back to the tangent, if that's what it is, any depolymerization product diesel that is chemically equivalent to traditional petroleum diesel is inferior to biodiesel. To start, it won't burn as cleanly. In particular, it won't have biodiesel's advantage of many times lower mutagenic emissions (and a smell to match with that). It won't have biodiesel's ultra-high lubricity advantage or naturally high cetane. And it won't have biodiesel's safety advantages of high flashpoint (well above instead of below the engine coolant temperature), high biodegradeability, and ultra-low toxicity, The difficulties of biodiesel can be easily handled with vehicle accommodations and it's well worthwhile.

Also anything made from a cheap petroleum product is still going to have to be hydrotreated to remove the sulfur.

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