Aquaflow signs cooperation agreement with CRI Catalyst Company to develop renewable fuels from algae and multi-biomass stock using IH2 catalytic pyrolysis
New Zealand-based algal technology company, Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, signed an agreement with Texas-based CRI Catalyst Company to test and to evaluate projects that bring together Aquaflow’s algal capability and the Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion technology (IH2) technology to produce commercially viable cellulosic hydrocarbon fuels and blendstocks.
Early this year, CRI acquired exclusive global sublicensing rights for the IH2 technology from Illinois-based Gas Technology Institute (GTI) where the technology was developed. (Earlier post.) CRI Catalyst Company is part of CRI/Criterion Inc., the global catalyst technology company of the Shell Group.
GTI 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 GTI’s project included Cargill, Johnston Timber, Aquaflow, Blue Marble Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Michigan Technological University.
The Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion (IH2) is an advanced pyrolysis technology which utilizes low pressure hydrogen together with a proprietary catalyst to cost-effectively converts biomass directly into renewable gasoline, jet and diesel hydrocarbon blendstocks.
IH2 produces significant amounts of export energy in addition to the renewable transportation fuels, while minimizing impact on the surrounding environment by manufacturing its own hydrogen and recycling the water used in the process. GTI says that renewable gasoline (RG) produced by the IH2 process results in more than 90% lower greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum-based fuels.
The initial focus of the agreement will be on establishing a demonstration facility, most likely in the USA, said Aquaflow director, Nick Gerritsen. From this base, the partners will expand into the project opportunities currently in the Aquaflow pipeline across different geographies. Gerritsen said that the agreement is the culmination of four years’ work that Aquaflow has been doing behind the scenes; that is, a multi-biomass approach in which the chemical qualities of algae can be maximized within a mix of other biomass streams.
Aquaflow is one of the first companies in the world to take this broader approach to incorporate algae in feedstocks to enable the near-term production of drop-in fuels and chemicals. This approach gives us the flexibility to develop a multi-biomass feedstock mix specific to available resources worldwide. We believe this is a significant advance for algal biofuels over lipid oil extraction approaches to diesel and jet fuel.—Nick Gerritsen
In July, PetroAlgae Inc., a provider of licensable commercial micro-crop technology globally, also entered into an agreement with CRI to use IH2 for the conversion of PetroAlgae’s micro-crop residues into renewable fuels. (Earlier post.)