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New Joint Venture Targeting Biofuels from Plasma Arc Gasification of Waste

11 April 2007

Skygas
The Skygas reactor.

MPM Technologies Inc. (MPM) and Losonoco Inc. have formed a new joint venture company, Losonoco Skygas, LLC, to develop biofuel and chemical manufacturing facilities based on the Skygas waste gasification process.

MPM is an environmental engineering company that has done extensive development work on the Skygas plasma arc gasification process and owns the worldwide rights to the technology. Losonoco builds, owns and operates manufacturing facilities for ethanol and biodiesel and focuses on commercializing technologies that use waste streams as feedstock for the biofuels.

In particular, Losonoco is acquiring and re-commissioning a shuttered corn ethanol facility in Florida, which it intends to bring back into production and to use as a platform to build an integrated biomass-to-ethanol facility base on the Skygas gasification process.

Losonoco Skygas is proposing the construction of a 125-ton per day biomass gasifier co-located and integrated with the corn ethanol facility in Florida. In the first phase,  the syngas will replace natural gas used in the ethanol production process. In a second phase, the syngas will be used to manufacture ethanol via catalytic conversion.

The core of the process is the Skygas gasifier which converts the feedstock at moisture contents of up to 55% to a synthesis gas high in carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Utilizing different catalytic processes, the syngas can be converted into ethanol, methanol, DME and diesel, or it can be used to manufacture ammonia or to generate electricity.

The Skygas reactor operates at lower temperatures than other plasma arc gasifiers, and consumes less power, according to MPM.

MPM acquired Skygas Technology in 1986, and several pilot and demonstration plants were built in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

MPM is transferring ownership to the joint venture of the world-wide licenses for the Skygas gasification technology together with all engineering, operational and other data and intellectual property that it owns and developed through its former joint venture agreement with Smogless S.p.A.

Losonoco Inc. will fund the further development of the technology and the construction of the 125-ton per day gasification plant in Florida. The initial membership interests in the joint venture will be 75% MPM Technologies Inc. and 25% Losonoco Inc. This will move to a 50:50 ownership once the development work is completed.

Losonoco Skygas, LLC will further seek appropriate alliances with industrial partners for the development of processes for the manufacture of ethanol, methanol, DME, diesel and ammonia and for the production of electricity in those markets where electricity from biomass or waste carries a high premium value.

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April 11, 2007 in Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL), Ethanol, Gasification | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Gasification, Great! from waste, Great! for ethanol, ??? must be a money thing. Can they separate out metals from the residual sludge?

I read an article in a recent PopSci issue(March 2007 P.56) about a plasma disposal unit being marketed as an alternative to landfills. The unit is said to produce more electricity than it consumes. It is called Startech. The syngas is feed into a connected system that converts it into hydrogen.

New York city is said to be interested because of the cost per ton to dispose of garbage. $400M a year! As a bonus the surplus electricity can be sold to off set initial costs and the hydrogen can power city buses.

I wonder why they (in this article) are focusing on ethanol as the final product? I wonder if this system could be parked at a dump to "eat" the trash already there? Could this be the power plant of the future???

Sounds like the ultimate solution, to get our fuel and electricity from our trash. Time will tell.

"The core of the process is the Skygas gasifier which converts the feedstock at moisture contents of up to 55% to a synthesis gas high in carbon monoxide and hydrogen."

_This should lend itself well to partially dewatered sewage sludge. It also means dry biomass garbage will not need to be separated from high water content feedstock.

This type of process is the way to convert Biomass to liquid fuels. If only a few percent of the enormous subsidy to the wacky Corn Ethanol fermentation porkbarrel would go into realistic and potentially economic technologies such as these.

I used to work for Startech environmental and have seen their 5 ton per day demonstration model in action. The CEO of Startech, Joseph Longo has connections to the New York city government and has years of experience in this field. Startech even offered to set up a 100+ ton per day plant for free as a demonstration and they were turned down. I have also looked at competing companies like MPM technologies and Integrated Environmental Technologies. None of these companies have enough money to produce these plasma technologies in any scale to make them very cost effective. Startech has been trying to sell them for YEARS and has not any success because of the narrow mindedness of the CEO, Joseph Longo. He refuses to answer customers basic questions like, "Who will buy the hydrogen gas and at what price?", "How much energy is used/generated for each type of waste stream?" Startech desperately needs an open, forward thinking CEO and an aggressive sales team otherwise they are doomed to become bankrupt. Check out their financial statements on Yahoo finance and you can see their sales efforts are a joke despite what they tell you in their press releases. Ticker symbol is STHK.ob

Brad

I think the Startech system is overkill. They run at about 3X the temperature as most other systems out there. There are a lot of plasma firms out there. Geoplasma just go approval for their system in Port St Lucie, FL. DOE just funded several companies with similar technologies that add on a Fischer-Tropsch stage after the plasm-to-syngas stage that convert the syngas to ethanol, diesel, etc. I think the reason why ethanol is the way to go is because they are selling a higher value product vs selling electricity into the grid at wholesale rates:

http://www.energy.gov/news/4827.htm

I to have been to Startech more than once. Joe can be difficult to deal with, but he has is a great system. The reason Startech uses temps as high as they do is for complete molecular disassociation of feedstocks. If you are feeding PCB's or other toxins you want a total breakdown into Syngas and no feedstock remaining. The elevated temps gaurantee this process. Startech is no joke, just strong headed. If you haven't spent time learning why they chose the methods they do, then you are going to miss part of the picture. Using a Startech PGC you can triple the current world record of waste to energy(SEMASS 590KWh/Ton MSW)and make gobbs of electricity. Using NYC MSW and a good combined cycle system you can generate $3.5+ billion dollars from just garbage anually. The other factor about Startech is their syngas has a higher ratio of Hydrogen to Carbon than the other plasma companies. Yes they need to sell some systems, but that does not mean they are without a better mouse trap. I have spoken with Geoplasma, IET and others. Startech rules. They have in my opinion the best system.

Send me emails if you have any Q's

Andy

Oy!...when will we ever learn in this country to get better managment to run companies. There are lots of very qualified people, but the boards seem to pick the biggest losers who want the highest pay packages.

Andy: I'm currious as to why you would have been at startech. What field are you in?

I'm a follower of alternative energy and wanted to see what they offer. It's pretty impressive to see what they do in person. I had to leave the builing the first time there, I just blew me away! Startech is just way to cool. Startech with Green Fuel Technologies on the back end is my goal, they know me to. Actually I'm attempting a career change.

Currently we are moving to new dedicated server where we are going to provide wide, interactive platform for energy, and climate issues enthusiasts and professionals. We are going to start as of 01.Junne 2007. You are all wellcome to live your comments, write articles, or simply pass by.
Editors: http://www.ethanol-news.de

DME developments in CHina today!
DME is an LPG-like synthetic fuel can be produced through gasification of Biomass. The synthetic gas is then catalyzed to produce DME. A gas under normal pressure and temperature, DME can be compressed into a liquid and used as an alternative to diesel. Its low emissions make it relatively environmentally friendly. In fact, Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and will be sharing their experience at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:


DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
By:
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
By:
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information: www.iceorganiser.com

More Startech lies: Exactly how does Starteck's syngas have a higher ratio of hydrogen to carbon than other plasma companies? The chemistry of feedstock determines the chemistry of the syngas, not the machine used to dissociate it!


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