BorgWarner Doubles Dual-Clutch Production Facility in Germany
National Research Council Report: Climate Change Will Have a Significant Impact on US Transportation Infrastructure and Operations

Rentech to Use Garbage as Feedstock for Synthetic Jet Fuel

Rentech, Inc. is expanding its Fischer-Tropsch synthetic jet fuels initiative to include the use of municipal solid waste (MSW) as a feedstock. Rentech will pursue projects in large municipalities to convert garbage that otherwise would be buried at landfills into clean, biodegradable jet fuel, potentially meeting the needs of local airports and communities.

The Rentech Fischer-Tropsch process involves three primary steps: (1) gasification of a feedstock into syngas (H2 and CO); (2) processing the syngas through a Fischer-Tropsch reactor where it is converted to a liquid hydrocarbon; and (3) upgrading the initial product to diesel and jet fuel.

With municipal solid waste as a feedstock, the production of synthetic fuels from MSW using the Rentech Process could have a low carbon footprint—potentially carbon neutral or even carbon negative—while extending the life of existing landfills. The resulting synthetic fuels are also cleaner burning and more efficient than petroleum-derived fuels.

Rentech recently hired D. Edwards, Inc., a waste management consulting firm, to assess market opportunities for converting MSW to synthetic biofuels, with a focus on California. The Company also recently hired a former World Waste Technology executive to lead the initiative.



It is like Al Gore quipped on his Saturday Night Live skit a few years ago, in the alternate time line where he actually took the office that he won.."since I insisted that cars run on trash, gasoline is now 50 cents per gallon".


My pipe dream is a genetically engineered microbe that takes municipal wastewater in one end, and outputs clean water and biocrude out the other. Unlikely, but this is a step in the right direction.


Plasma reformation of MSW exists today. It's about time it was used to solve some of our problems.


Can the mineral content of the garbage be economically reclaimed after gasification? I can see the day when we start to mine old landfills to get the resources left there.


Good for limited landfill and oil resources, but NOT for GHG. How can this be carbon neutral or negative if it takes sequestered garbage and converts it to fuel that gets burned into GHG? Maybe they can get a little credit from:
(1) No uncontrolled methane emissions, worse than CO2
(2) Energy saved burying waste


I believe Dr. Emmett L. Brown was using garbage for fuel in his Flux Capacitor over 2 decades ago.



Its better because the syngas that is produced is recycled from products that are now sitting there generating methane and the syn fuel that gets used displaces the use of fossil fuel derived fuel


oh, forgot to mention this doesnt mean its carbon negative just neutral, from what they released in the article i have no idea how they are getting carbon negative fuel



Technically Dr. Brown had to go to the future to go get that system, so theoretically he came to the green car congress to figure out which company to have build the set-up for him


Wouldn’t it be carbon neutral because the garbage
Is not turning into methane gas which is 10 worse
Than c02


My pipe dream is a genetically engineered microbe that takes municipal wastewater in one end, and outputs clean water and biocrude out the other.
You mean plain old anaerobic technology, like UASB? BTW, loose the genetically engineered microbe, the only thing needed is higher energy prices to make the process financially attractive...

Unlikely, but this is a step in the right direction.
Can be done (sans the funky microbe), and will.


If you're going to employ a bug, it would make more sense to have it make a finished product (e.g. propane) than a crude material which needs further refining.

I was wondering when something like this would happen.  Zegen's process also makes a syngas which might be suitable for synthesis of fuel, but if Rentech gets there first, more power to them.


Good to see an MSW put to productive use. Dr. Brown was traveling BACK to the future following seeded technology that produced the flux capacitor in the first place.

Al Gore still cannot shake his reputation as "wooden," in the way Pinocchio was wooden and wished he could become a "real" boy.



That is neither amusing nor informative. If you have something to contribute, please do, if not then find somewhere else to make your comments.


Considering waste as a renewable energy is fabulous. Do you think they could do something with toxic waste? Are there any ways to turn Yucca Mountain waste into usable energy rather than just burying it?

Henry Gibson

At least 95% of the energy in the fuel rods intended to go to Yucca mountain still remains and can be used by known and operating processes. Recycling is a bad word in the anti nuclear energy movement started by President Carter. Every kilogram of used fuel rods has at least the energy of 10,000,000 kilowatt-hours thermal or 1500 Tonnes of coal. Heavy water reactors could be built that use the used fuel rods without the slightest modifications to them. It may be possible to just fill a current US reactor with heavy water instead of refueling and get fifty percent more electricity. Rubbia reactors can use all the uranium and plutonium in the "used" fuel. New ends can be welded onto cut used US fuel rods, and the bundles used right now in CANDU reactors. This is a version of the DUPIC process. Retaining only the uranium and plutonium in the remanufactured rods but eliminating the fission products will give much more energy at low cost. The present natural Uranium CANDU fuel bundles can be carried by hand, and the fuel used could actually be delivered by a single taxi-cab delivery each day. DUPIC fuel is highly radio-active, but only slight modifications to the delivery systems would have to be made. ..HG..

The comments to this entry are closed.