KiOR, Inc., developer of a catalytic pyrolysis process to produce renewable crude oil from biomass (earlier post), has achieved several key operational milestones at its commercial-scale cellulosic gasoline and diesel production facility in Columbus, Mississippi.
First, the Columbus facility’s Biomass Fluid Catalytic Cracking, or BFCC, unit has completed its first uninterrupted 30-day run. Second, the facility made its first shipment of cellulosic gasoline on 28 June, which represented the first fuel shipment since March, 2013. Lastly, the facility commenced regular shipments of both gasoline and diesel that same day. Kior made an initial shipment of cellulosic diesel in March.
Commencing regular shipments of gasoline and diesel is very significant for KiOR, as it reflects the continuous improvements in our operations at the Columbus facility. We have been undertaking considerable reliability and optimization efforts in areas of the facility unrelated to KiOR's core technology. The success of these efforts gives us confidence, more than ever, that the performance targets for the Columbus plant are attainable in the months ahead and that our operating assumptions for our next, larger Natchez plant are reasonable.
With the facility operating stably and producing cellulosic gasoline and diesel at commercial scale, we believe we are on track to achieve steady-state operations before the end of the calendar year and to demonstrate improving performance metrics over that timeframe.—Fred Cannon, KiOR President and CEO