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GTI and CRI/Criterion Inc. sign licensing agreement for IH2 process; direct production of biogasoline and diesel hydrocarbon blendstock

Lifecycle GHG emissions of renewable gasoline from the IH2 process (GTI RG) compared to petroleum gasoline and diesel. Source: GTI. Click to enlarge.

The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with CRI/Criterion Inc., for GTI’s Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion (IH2) technology, which converts biomass directly into cellulosic gasoline and diesel hydrocarbon blendstocks.

GTI’s IH2 technology is an advanced pyrolysis technology which utilizes low pressure hydrogen together with a proprietary catalyst to remove virtually all of the oxygen present in the starting biomass. (During the pilot IH2 project, CRI/Criterion supplied the IH2 catalyst.)

GTI’ Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion process. Source: GTI. Click to enlarge.

Features of the process include:

  • Feedstock flexible;
  • Fast biomass heat up maximizes liquid yield;
  • Hydroconversion with catalysts produces low-oxygen, low-acidity liquids;
  • Polynuclear aromatic components are not formed;
  • Self-sufficient process requires no supplemental water or hydrogen; and
  • High-quality renewable gasoline and diesel products are produced.

GTI says that renewable gasoline (RG) produced by the IH2 process results in more than 90% lower greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-based fuels.

Compared to conventional pyrolysis processes this efficient, balanced approach optimizes the energy used to convert a range of non-food feedstocks into renewable transportation fuels or chemicals, according to GTI. As a result, the technology is highly flexible and is economical for both small- and large-scale applications.

Property comparison
 Fast Pyrolysis OilIH2 product
% Oxygen 50% <1.0%
% Water 20% <0.1%
TAN 200 <2
Stability Poor Good
Heating value 6,560 Btu/lb
15,248 kJ/kg
18,000 Btu/lb
41,840 kJ/kg
% Gasoline Non-distillable 54-75
% Diesel Non-distillable 23-46
Compatibility with crude oil or refinery products No Excellent
Relative transportation cost 1.0 0.3

GTI has received funding support from the US Department of Energy (EERE Office of Biomass Program) under the integrated biorefinery initiative for the development of IH2. Participants in the project include Cargill, Johnston Timber, Aquaflow, Blue Marble Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Michigan Technological University.

GTI is a leading research, development and training organization that has been developing technology-based solutions for consumers, industry, and government for nearly 70 years. GTI has more than 50 years of research and development (R&D) experience in the design, construction, and operation of thermochemical conversion systems for coal and biomass.

CRI/Criterion Inc., an international company headquartered in Houston, TX, supplies advanced catalysts, services, and technology solutions to the global refining, petrochemical and renewable fuel communities.




This process looks too positive and too good to be true. Does anybody know the shortcomings?


The usual downside is the requirement for supplimentary H.

The claim here is a balanced system requiring no xtra input so definately sounds either too good to be true or just cracking some good if curly chemistry problems.
We shall have to wait and see.


If you have unlimited hydrogen you can make any kind of liquid fuel you want from CO2. Without some source of cheap, clean hydrogen, this scheme is a parlor trick.


In other words, making the hydrogen required may use more energy than the process produces?


Why don´t you read the PDF before reaching all this conclusions ?

PDF1 (Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion (IH2) Process for Direct Production of Gasoline and Diesel Fuel from Biomass (BIOMASS 2010)) states:

page 8/18:
expected experimental small C chain hydrocarbons
"% C1-C3 - 10-14 - 4-16"

page 10/18: "Recipe for Hydrogen Self Sufficiency"
... "utilizing the C1-C3 gas for making hydrogen";
... "Balanced COX and H2O production"; and
... "water gas shift".

page 11/18: "Technology Comparison"
"External hydrogen required: None"

It seems its another pathway for BTL that goes a bit further than local pyrolysis, with remote upgrading to a process a bit more complex that does some upgrading removing oxygen and other undesirable atoms with a relatively simple and straightforward process.

If all claim are true, and if could be done at reasonable costs, it could be very promising indeed.


It would be interesting to know the EROEI or the percentage of energy in the finished fuels as opposed to the feedstock. The next question is whether that would easily cover the harvesting, drying and milling of the biomass. We currently assume we can get biomass from sawmills and crop processors but that won't last when petroleum is gone.

I suspect the reforming process to get the internal hydrogen saps a lot of energy from potential output of liquid fuels.


The IH2 presentation claims "low" transport costs, but doesn't state the assumptions behind this claim; raw biomass must be transported to the plant, while fast pyrolysis can probably use local or mobile processors to make liquid. It also requires a dry feedstock, which in the case of lemna (duckweed) means considerable pre-processing.

The IH2 yield of hydrocarbons isn't very high (23-30%). The advantage of fast pyrolysis is that its yield is about 70% by energy and the processing systems can be simple, cheap and small. Arguably IH2's product is much more valuable, but NG can substitute for both gasoline and diesel and pyrolysis oil can substitute for NG in many kinds of burners (including gas turbines). Once the current market flaws (or regulatory discrimination) is smoothed out, I'm not sure IH2 makes sense.

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