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Honeywell’s UOP and Ensyn Launch Biomass-to-Pyrolysis Oil Joint Venture

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company and Ensyn Corp. have launched a joint venture, Envergent Technologies, LLC, to offer technology and equipment to convert second-generation biomass into pyrolysis oil for power generation, heating fuel and for conversion into transportation fuels. Honeywell and Ensyn announced their intention to form the joint venture in September 2008. (Earlier post.)

The new company will offer Ensyn’s commercially proven Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP) technology to convert second-generation biomass such as forest and agricultural residuals to pyrolysis oil for use in power and heating applications. The joint venture will also accelerate research and development efforts to commercialize next-generation technology to refine the pyrolysis oil into transport fuels such as green gasoline, green diesel and green jet fuel.

Mark Reno has been named managing director of Envergent Technologies. Reno previously served as the director of service and sales support for UOP’s Catalysts, Adsorbents and Specialties business. He has 35 years of experience in the refining and petrochemicals industries in research and development, technical services and customer support.

RTP is a rapid thermal process in which biomass such as wood chips or straw is rapidly heated at ambient pressure to generate high yields of a pourable, liquid pyrolysis oil, which can then be burned for energy in industrial burners and furnaces or converted to green electricity. Honeywell and Ensyn are working together on technology to further refine the pyrolysis oil into transportation fuels.

UOP, a recognized leader in refining process technologies, has been active in renewable fuel technology, forming a separate Renewable Energy & Chemicals business in late 2006. Since then, UOP has commercialized the UOP/Eni Ecofining process to produce renewable diesel fuel from biological feedstocks and has also developed process technology to produce renewable jet fuel under contract from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

UOP has ongoing research efforts in biofuels, with specific focus on second-generation feedstocks working with organizations such as the US Department of Energy (DOE), the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Lab, Pacific Northwest National Lab and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture Research Service Eastern Regional Research Center (ARS-ERRC).

Ensyn has more than 20 years of commercial experience with its RTP technology producing pyrolysis oil for various natural chemical and fuel products. Ensyn’s technology is currently utilized in seven commercial biomass processing plants in the US and Canada.



Whether pyrolysis or gasification, they are on the right track. Pyrolysis requires that you further refine the oil into fuel. Gasification can make methane or methanol in the first stages and other fuels with further processing.

It depends on whether you want to refine down to what you want or synthesis up to what you want. If we are going after simple molecules with less processing, I favor gasification.

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