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The new BTRC process (bottom) is more compact.

The Biomass Technology Research Center (BTRC) of Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has succeeded in continuously synthesizing Fischer-Tropsch diesel from wood via a new compact process.

This marks the first successful continuous production of Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) diesel from wood in Japan, and is intended to bolster the development of small or portable biomass-to-liquids plants (BTL). The ability to take production systems to the biomass rather than the other way around would improve the economics of the BTL system.

The new process removes the need for the compression of the synthesis gas. The process puts high-temperature (800º–900º C) syngas at several Mpa pressure through a cleaning step that uses active carbon rather than the wet method. The effective use of the heat and elimination of the compressor reduces the power requirements, increasing the energy efficiency of the overall process.

Portable bench test unit.

On the basis of the successful lab test, the BTRC plans to develop a compact and portable prototype for bench tests in 2007. The bench test system will produce 1.6 liters of F-T diesel per day. BTRC is also at work on developing a catalyst for FT synthesis that would improve the yield and quality of diesel fuel.

The BTRC was formed October 2005 to pursue research into cellulosic ethanol and BTL Fischer-Tropsch diesel.




I sure hope this works. A few years ago they logged off about 100 acres around where I live in North Georgia. The amount of waste was appalling. They piled it up and burned it or just let the termites eat it.

This process could have made a few hundred gallons of diesel fuel from it.

Popular trees grow like weeds around here. I have no doubt I could meet all of my fuel needs just from the ones that have blown down.

Rafael Seidl

Long-term, biofuels are the only sustainable option. BTL is one of the technologies we will need to get there. It comprises both the Fischer-Tropsch process for synthetic diesel and the Methanol-to-Gasoline Process for synthetic gasoline. Of course, you could use straight methanol as well (NASCAR does) but special handling precautions apply - you'd need to add a dye of some sort.

Eliminating the wet purification process makes F-T mobile, which is an advantage considering the overhead of transporting the feedstock. However, you may still need some water to achieve the right mix of H2 and CO in the synthesis gas. In addition, the productivity of any mobile setup will have to go way up. Perhaps it will take hooking up several truckloads of equipment to achieve a useful scale.


To use BTL is the most successfull solution for transporting. I know from a company in germany (www.choren.de) they plan the to produce 1 mio t/a BTL. Which will we an great step into a CO2 neutral world.
Hope they will built such plants all over the world soon.


We really need this technology to work since cellulosic ethanol has been seriously called into question on another forum. Not only could the plants be located near the sources of biowaste but the population could spread out into areas of local fuel self sufficiency. If it works.

Rafael Seidl

Let's see how things shake out before we write any of the biofuel concepts off. There's plenty of public and especially., private R&D money to sustain a competitive landscape. Innovation is a risky business, with promising approaches often proving to be dead-ends and unlikely ideas unexpectedly panning out.

Compared to switching from oil to coal (CTL) or natural gas (GTL) - let alone nuclear/hydrogen - every biofuel idea deserves a chance provided it actually works, reduces GHG and any subsidies are modest and temporary. Americans - indeed, people everywhere - realize that energy will become more expensive, even if they don't much like that fact. So let them pay their dues at the pump as soon as practicable, after redistributing the tax burden in a socially responsible way.


Anyone can translate the japanese words?


As waste-to-fuel prosess, it is probably one of the few to survive burst of bio-fuel bubble.

Paul Cantrell

It will take multiple sustainable sources of energy to 'fix' our energy problem. Whether or not we get there depends on funding of research and the status of regulation.

Also, a correction, NASCAR does NOT use Methanol as fuel. They use LEADED Gasoline exclusively. They are switching to unleaded gasoline/ethanol in a few years. Indy car racing uses methanol.


i want know synthetic petrol project

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