Rentech’s integrated bio-refinery project mechanically complete; cellulosic FT fuels production expected by end of 2011
Rentech, Inc. announced today that all systems required to start up its integrated bio-refinery (IBR) in Commerce City, Colorado are mechanically complete. Commissioning, validation and start-up of the renewable energy demonstration facility are underway. The project has reached this milestone within the original budget and schedule.
The IBR is anticipated to produce certified renewable fuels in late 2011. This demonstration-scale project is expected to lead to the final design basis for commercial-scale facilities using the combined technologies, including for potential biomass-to-energy projects that are contemplated in the southeastern United States, Hawaii and Canada.
The IBR project was co-funded by a $23-million grant from the US Department of Energy, to manufacture and install at the Rentech Energy Technology Center a 20 ton-per-day Rentech-ClearFuels biomass gasifier. The gasifier is designed to produce bio-synthesis gas from various high impact wood waste and sugarcane bagasse feedstocks.
The gasifier has been integrated with Rentech’s existing Product Demonstration Unit (PDU) at the site, which uses the Rentech Process and UOP’s upgrading technologies to produce renewable drop-in synthetic jet and diesel fuels at demonstration scale.
Rentech expects the integrated facility, which will have the flexibility to produce renewable syngas, hydrogen, and steam as well as biofuels, will be used to evaluate additional technology integration opportunities. Rentech funded the balance of the project’s total cost of approximately $36 million, which includes the cost of building the gasifier, feedstock handling equipment, integration with Rentech’s synthetic fuels plant, and operation of the facility for a period of 6 months to collect 2,000 hours of operating data.
The project team responsible for meeting the milestone for mechanical completion included URS Corporation, Linde Group/Hydro-Chem, Piper Electric Corporation and Ames Construction, Inc.