W2 Energy Inc., the developer of a GAT (Gliding Arc Tornado) plasma reactor for biomass gasification for power and fuels generation, will build a bench-scale coal-to-diesel plant at its Toronto facility.
Until now W2 Energy has concentrated fully on biomass as a feedstock for gasification and conversion to liquid fuels. In June, the company announced that it was working to manufacture biobutanol from the GAT syngas. (Earlier post.)
A GAT is a non-thermal plasma system that uses a reverse vortex flow (i.e., tornado) to preserve the main advantages of traditional gliding arc systems and overcome their main drawbacks. In contrast to a traditional GA, the GAT system ensures much more uniform gas treatment and has a significantly larger gas residence time in the reactor. Additionally the GAT provides near-perfect thermal insulation from the reactor wall, indicating that the present GAT does not require the reactor wall to be constructed of high-temperature materials.
We have received overwhelming requests to modify our technology to efficiently gasify coal as a sole feedstock. The officers and directors decided that it would be in the best interest of the company to answer that demand at this time in conjunction with the commercialization of the biomass-to-liquid fuel plant.
The unit will also be used for as a blueprint for scale-up to larger coal-to-diesel plants. Since the company’s plasma technology is capable of zero CO2 production from the plasma-assisted partial oxidization of coal this makes the W2 plasma reactor superior to other coal gasification technologies, according to the company.
The technology is also smaller, more compact and requires less components than traditional coal gasification processes making the capital expenditure a fraction of the cost of competing technologies.