Waste Management has made a strategic investment in Agnion Energy, Inc. to advance Agnion’s allothermal gasification technology. Waste Management joins other investors in Agnion including,Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Munich Venture Partners and Wellington Partners.
|Agnion’s Heatpipe-Reformer. Source: Agnion. Click to enlarge.|
Agnion’s innovative allothermal gasification technology converts solid biomass feedstock into a high hydrogen and carbon monoxide-rich synthetic gas (syngas) with exceptionally high heating value. The syngas is ideally suited for combined heat and power applications and can be converted into liquids, hydrogen, and methanol dimethyl-ether and or substitute natural gas.
In the process, fuel is introduced to a fluidized bed gasifier by means of a lock system. In a fluidized bed system like this, a bed of sand is held in suspension by a gas flow. Water vapor is used for this purpose in the Heatpipe-Reformer. Fuel particles mix ideally in this fluidized, highly turbulent bed of sand, and begin to convert into a gas mixture at temperatures of around 800 °C.
One advantage of this process, says Agnion is that the fuel does not have to be completely gasified. Part of the fuel is discharged downward via a filter system into a second fluidized bed combustion chamber in the form of residual coke and/or char. This second fluidized bed is fluidized by means of air. Residual coke burns at temperatures of around 900°C in this fluidized bed, thus providing heat at temperatures around 900°C, which is then returned to the Reformer via Heatpipes.
Agnion’s Heatpipe-Reformer design provides a flexible, small-scale on-site gasification technology solution for relatively low capital cost. Typical customers for this technology are end-users looking for solutions to their high heating and electricity demands, such as schools/universities, warehouses/distribution centers, shopping malls, hotels and hospitals.
Waste Management wants to maximize the value of the materials it manages. Agnion’s technology complements Waste Management’s advancement of thermo-chemical conversion technology platforms and could enhance our suite of waste processing options.—Tim Cesarek, managing director of Organic Growth at Waste Management
The investment complements Waste Management’s other chemical conversion technology platforms including Enerkem, S4 Energy Solutions, Terrabon and Agilyx. This agreement will also help move Waste Management toward meeting two of its sustainability goals: doubling its renewable energy production by 2020, and investing in emerging technologies for managing waste.