A biomass-to-liquids (BTL) demonstration plant jointly operated by the Oxford Catalysts Group and the Portuguese incorporated holding company, SGC Energia (SGCE), for the small scale distributed production of biofuels has achieved some significant commissioning milestones, according to Oxford.
The demonstration facility, which is mechanically complete and undergoing start up at the biomass gasification facility in the pioneering eco-town, Güssing, Austria, includes a gas conditioning unit supplied by SGCE and a Fischer-Tropsch (FT) microchannel reactor skid developed by the US-based member of the Oxford Catalysts Group, Velocys, Inc.
The plant, with full length process and coolant channels, will use gasified woodchips from the existing Güssing gasifier as a feedstock. SGCE is responsible for the overall project management and demonstration plants activities, as well as the full costs.
The gas conditioning unit which purifies the syngas coming out of the gasifier has now been fully installed and pre-commissioned—with the required checks, system adjustment, equipment and system activation necessary to prepare the facility for operation now complete.
The next stages will include tests to confirm the stability of the coupled operation of the gas conditioning unit and the FT microchannel reactor. During the final phase, which is expected to begin in the summer, the performance of the integrated gas conditioning unit and FT microchannel reactor will be evaluated under a wide range of operating conditions. This will be followed by an extended steady-state run of at least three months.
SGCE says it intends to place its first commercial order with the Oxford Catalysts Group following a successful demonstration at Güssing.