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IH2 technology licensed to Biozin Holding AS for production of liquid transportation fuels from woody biomass

CRI/Criterion Catalyst Company LTD (CRIUK), a global catalyst technology company wholly owned by Royal Dutch Shell, has awarded an FEL-2 license agreement for the IH2 technology which converts biomass to liquid transportation fuels (earlier post), to Norway-based Biozin Holding AS (BZH).

Norwegian saw mill company Bergene Holm AS and the Swedish oil company Preem AB have entered into a cooperation, with the intention to realize full scale biofuel production sites in Norway through Biozin Holding AS. The production facility is intended to be located adjacent to the Bergene Holm AS saw mill in Åmli in southern Norway.

The Front End Loading (FEL-2) package will be completed for the core IH2 technology by global engineering and construction specialists KBR, Inc. (KBR). KBR is CRI’s preferred FEED engineering services provider for commercial scale IH2 facilities. KBR’s six years of experience with IH2 plant design will help de-risk the commercial scale design.

The IH2 (Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion) process converts virtually any type of non-food biomass feedstock—such as wood, agricultural residues, algae, aquatic plants and cellulosic fractions of municipal waste—to gasoline, jet and diesel range hydrocarbon fuels and/or blend stocks. This process was developed by the Gas Technology Institute (GTI) of Des Plaines, IL. GTI licensed the IH2 technology to CRI Catalyst Company (CRI) for exclusive worldwide deployment.

The IH2 process has four primary elements:

  1. Biomass conditioning i.e. sizing and drying to 10 – 30 wt% moisture.

  2. Hydrodeoxygenation of the volatilized biomass to produce a raw hydrocarbon product over proprietary CRI catalysts in the presence of low–pressure hydrogen. This serves both to remove oxygen and cap reactive free radicals to provide a stable hydrocarbon product.

  3. A fixed–bed hydrotreater, which uses other proprietary CRI catalysts to polish the first–stage product and transform it into a finished hydrocarbon fuel or blend stock.

  4. A Hydrogen Manufacturing Unit (HMU), which converts light gases generated in the first–stage to renewable hydrogen, in sufficient quantity to supply all process needs.

The individual elements are all commercial, which minimizes design risk and allows for rapid implementation of the IH2 technology.

The client intends to utilize mill residues from Åmli and forestry residues from the region. The product will be refined by one of Preem’s refineries in Sweden. IH2 hydrocarbons produced from woody biomass meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications for their respective fuels, positioned for the US market as an E10 gasoline fully renewable product, or as a 100% renewable diesel.

Third party testing of the IH2 woody biomass derived neat (R100) kerosene cut, for global jet specifications Jet A-1/JP8, indicates that the material meets these specifications for the properties tested to date. Ongoing research suggests minor adjustments of the technology will be able to provide drop in hydrocarbon fuels which meet European Standard (EN) specifications for drop in renewable gasoloine and diesel hydrocarbons from the Biozin intended feed slate.

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