GreenFuel Technologies Signs Emissions-to-Biofuels Licensing Agreement With The Victor Smorgon Group
03 August 2006
|The GreenFuel Process flow. Click to enlarge.|
GreenFuel Technologies Corporation, developers of algae bioreactor systems that recycle CO2 in smokestack gases into biofuels (earlier post), has signed a licensing agreement with The Victor Smorgon Group headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
The agreement provides The Victor Smorgon Group with an exclusive license to distribute, install and operate GreenFuel’s Emissions-to-Biofuels (E2B) proprietary technology for growing, harvesting, and processing biomass and products derived from algae throughout Australia and New Zealand. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
|The GreenFuel Emissions-to-Biomass system. Click to enlarge.|
GreenFuel retrofits its E2B process to flue stacks. Flue gas or other CO2-rich gas streams flow into the bioreactor, in which algae are suspended in a media with nutrients added to optimize the growth rate. A portion of the media is withdrawn continuously from the bioreactor and sent to a two-stage dewatering process to harvest the algae.
The primary dewatering increases the algae concentration by a factor of 10-30. Secondary dewatering further increases the algal solids concentration to yield a cake suitable for conventional downstream processing into biofuels.
|Downstream processing options for harvested algae|
|Fermentation||Ethanol and bioplastics|
|Anaerobic digestion||Biogas (methane)|
|Gasification and reforming||Hydrogen and Fischer-Tropsch fuels (BTL)|
Data from field testing of the system in 2004 and 2005 show a CO2 reduction of 82.3% ±12.5% on sunny days and of 50.1% ±6.5% on cloudy days. NOx emissions dropped 85.9% ±2.1% on both sunny and cloudy days. (CO2 reduction was measured from 9am to 5pm; NOx 24 hrs/day.)
A number of companies have tackled using algae in bioreactors. GreenFuel differentiates itself by the technology used for algae adaptation (derived from a NASA project for the International Space Station), a bioreactor design that is inexpensive to manufacture and to operate, and an analytical method for optimally exposing algae to sunlight—all of which have patents pending.
Founded in 1995, The Victor Smorgon Group owns and operates a diversified portfolio of companies in Australia and New Zealand. The company has investments in the manufacturing of biodiesel and plastics, aquaculture, and clothing retailing. The group also has substantial experience in waste recycling, having successfully implemented recycling processes in the paper, glass, steel, and plastics industries.
Wow. The C02 reduction is more than I thought! Nice to see them making progress.
Posted by: Cervus | 03 August 2006 at 10:55 AM
May I be the first priveledged individual to welcome you, formally, to the beginning of the hydrogen age.
Does anyone have any good links or info on deuterium? Thank you in advance.
Posted by: Bike Commuter Dude | 03 August 2006 at 11:18 AM
The GreenFuel process can make massive amounts of biodiesel and ethanol (and hopefully butanol) compared to soybeans, canola, and even oil palms. This announcement seems to indicate expansion of the company.
The only thing really missing here is actually seeing the biofuels on the market from this process. When GreenFuel reaches that milestone, I will breathe easier.
Posted by: Cervus | 03 August 2006 at 11:33 AM
I wonder what the energy balance would look like using lights to capture CO2 during the night and at higher rates on cloudy days? I'm much more hopeful about this sequestration scheme than underground storage. Perhaps, using seawater, we could build atmospheric scrubbers that would act as shaded sidewalks and roadways near coastal cities that would also actually work to decrease the atomosphere's CO2 and NOx levels. Even if the biofuel production wasn't economical or the CO2 sequestration substantial, they would still act to bring home the message of decreasing waste and would provide the most threatened areas with a tangible tool to begin addressing global warming.
Posted by: Kevin | 03 August 2006 at 12:14 PM
This is what I was talking about. It limits the loss of water, making it more feasible for production in arid or water deficient areas. It is also not akin to a large pool or pond, and uses even less water, thus less mass.
___There are also further possibilities with high efficiency wavelength specific LED or fluorescent lights (50-70%) coupled with efficient solar panels (50-70%). It could at least double the output per acre of sunight. Thus a combined system could (conservatively) yield 10,000 ga/acre, with a mind boggling theoretical upper range of 80,000+ ga/acre. Then you have the remaining biomass/protein to use/sell for various purposes, some outlined in charts above. Initial costs would be high but a rolling start, and mass production/economy of scale would solve most money issues.
Posted by: allen Z | 03 August 2006 at 12:29 PM
wavelength band specific
___Chlorophylls predominantly convert 2 bands of sunlight into chemical energy. One is at lower redish frequencies, the other is at blue to violet. There are other frequency modifying chemicals, like phycoerythrin or phycocyanin, but they do not cover several frequency bands, and are less efficient. That is where the aforementioned system comes in.
Posted by: allen Z | 03 August 2006 at 12:52 PM
Yes, it is excellent for producing biofuels, using this technology in this application. But in a slightly modified application (gassification and reforming), you would have another clean source of hydrogen, without having to utilize expensive electrolyzers. I'll admit I'm kinda underinformed in this field, but there seems to be many new doors unlocked by this single cornerstone technology.
Posted by: Bike Commuter Dude | 03 August 2006 at 02:53 PM
It makes far better sense to just burn the biofuel rather than take additional steps to strip the hydrogen. The biofuels can utilize existing fuel distribution infrastructure and engine technologies. Hydrogen requires significant advances in storage, fuel cell cost reductions, and distribution networks.
Gasification and F-T processes aren't very efficient, and they're rather energy intensive. The advantage is that you could make regular diesel and gasoline, but I don't see any reason to go that far since the oils and sugars in the algae serve well enough as feedstocks.
Posted by: Cervus | 03 August 2006 at 03:13 PM
This is really good news.The Smorgon family are canny businesspeople, you have to be to make money out of steel. Is it scaleable up to the point where it could be fitted to coal-fired power stations? I would also like to see an analysis of the gaseous emissions from the process as well as the figures given on reductions.
Posted by: critta | 03 August 2006 at 06:19 PM
Posted by: Shaun Williams | 04 August 2006 at 02:28 AM
theoretical max (under combined system proposed) is more like 42,000+ ga/acre.
Posted by: allen Z | 04 August 2006 at 05:14 AM
Wow, this many comments and nobody has derided the technology as the hand of Satan ready to kill the planet!
Posted by: John Ard | 04 August 2006 at 09:29 AM
Cervus: You're right about it being easier (and likely more efficient) to just use the biofuels. But, if at some point down the line, we start to use more hydrogen than hydrocarbon fuels, this is a perfect way to provide it. I am predicting that this will be cheaper/more attainable for countries with huge demands, and not enough real-estate for massive wind/solar generation. Plus, it lets you keep your CO2 emissions source (existing powerplants) minimized in it's effect. It simply allows you to make more from less by using what you have.
John Ard: I believe it is because this technology is what we have ALL been dreaming of, in it's potential at least.
Posted by: Bike Commuter Dude | 04 August 2006 at 10:13 AM
BCD: Another option is to use it to create electricity for PHEVs and EVs (technology way closer if not here already). You could recycle the CO2 through the algae again.
Posted by: Neil | 04 August 2006 at 10:59 AM
I think the removal of CO2 is great but per acre of what? If this takes place in the smokestack vicinity and according to their site results in 5000 to 10000 gal. per acre/per year.
Posted by: JIMR | 04 August 2006 at 06:28 PM
Santa is coming down ......
Posted by: Harvey D. | 05 August 2006 at 04:59 PM
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.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia
Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
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
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
Posted by: Cheryl Ho | 22 May 2007 at 11:41 PM