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IH2 technology licensed for demonstration plant to convert woody biomass into drop-in hydrocarbon transportation fuels

SynSel Energi AS has entered into an IH2 (Integrated Hydropyrolysis and Hydroconversion) process demonstration license agreement with CRI/Criterion Catalyst Company Ltd, a member of the CRI Catalyst group (CRI), a global group of catalyst technology companies. IH2 technology is a continuous catalytic thermochemical process which converts a broad range of forestry/agricultural residues and municipal wastes directly into renewable hydrocarbon transportation fuels and/or blend stocks. (Earlier post.)

The Basic Engineering Package for the 5 metric ton/day demonstration plant located in Grenland, Norway is to be completed over a period of several months by Zeton Inc. Zeton is the preferred engineering services provider for IH2 facilities at demonstration scale. The IH2 demonstration plant will be integrated into an existing third-party petrochemical manufacturing site, allowing for optimized capital and operating expense.

The IH2 process has five primary steps.
  1. Biomass conditioning i.e. sizing and drying to 10 – 30wt% moisture.

  2. Hydrodeoxygenation of the volatilized biomass to produce a raw hydrocarbon product over proprietary CRI catalysts in the presence of low–pressure hydrogen. This serves both to remove oxygen and cap reactive free radicals to provide a stable hydrocarbon product.

  3. A fixed–bed hydrotreater, which uses other proprietary CRI catalysts to polish the first–stage product and transform it into a finished hydrocarbon fuel or blend stock.

  4. Hydrogen production, converting light gases generated in the first stage to hydrogen in sufficient quantity to supply all process needs.

  5. Cyclones for collection of ash and char.

The individual elements are all commercial, which minimizes design risk and allows for rapid implementation of the IH2 technology. Click to enlarge.

SynSel says it recognizes the potential of the IH2 technology to monetize residual biomass and cost-effectively deliver renewable hydrocarbon fuels and/or blend stocks at prices competitive with fossil fuels currently.

SynSel intends to extend its collaboration with CRI and its partners to implement the IH2 technology on a commercial scale in Norway initially. Innovation Norway has been instrumental in providing initial funding support for the demonstration plant as an integral pathway to several commercial IH2 plants in Norway.

The design feedstock for the facility will be forest residues including slash, sawdust, bark and wood chips with the ability to process select agricultural and municipal residues as well.

IH2 hydrocarbons produced from these feedstocks span the gasoline, jet and diesel range. The hydrocarbons currently meet the ASTM specifications for their respective road transport fuels, positioned for the US market as an E10 gasoline fully renewable product or as a 100% fully renewable on-road diesel.

Ongoing research indicates a high probability to achieve EN specification fuels or high-quality blend stocks. High-quality jet-range hydrocarbon blend stocks are also produced.

The IH2 technology is an efficient conversion route for lignocellulosic biomass. Production economics have been estimated to provide hydrocarbon fuels at fully profited manufacturing costs of $2.50/gallon at 2000 tonne dry feed/day scale on a USGC (US Gulf Coast) basis using a full stand-alone design.

The IH2 process was developed by Gas Technology Institute (GTI). GTI experts invented, tested, and patented IH2 technology and are providing ongoing commercialization support. Twelve US and seven international patents have been issued on the technology. CRI Catalyst Company of Houston, Texas has been granted exclusive worldwide licensing rights.

UK-based CRI/Criterion Catalyst Company Ltd is an affiliate of US-based CRI Catalyst Company LP. Both are part of CRI/Criterion Inc., the global catalyst technology company of Royal Dutch Shell plc.



"at prices competitive with fossil fuels currently."

According to some, this can not and should not be done.
It would delay that rapid adoption of EVs we are experiencing.


I all for the recycling of waste but the hard fact is there is not enough biomass generated to provide fuel for more than a fraction of the miles driven in most places. We need to electrify our transport to reduce the amount of fuel we need and save the fuel for those tasks that electricity is not enough for.


Billion ton study, read it.


You mean the one that said: In the 2005 BTS, a
strategic analysis was undertaken to determine if U.S.
agriculture and forest resources have the capability
to potentially produce at least one billion dry tons of
biomass annually, in a sustainable manner—enough
to displace approximately 30% of the country’s
present petroleum consumption. To ensure reasonable
confidence in the study results, an effort was made to
use relatively conservative assumptions. However, for
both agriculture and forestry, the resource potential was
not restricted by price. That is, all identified biomass
was potentially available, even though some potential
feedstock would more than likely be too expensive to
actually be economically available.
? The one that concluded that yes there could be 1 billion tons of biomass produced each year, but only after another 15 years of energy crop development? 15 years to get to a 30% displacement of the country’s present petroleum consumption. Like I said: The hard fact is there is not enough biomass generated to provide fuel for more than a fraction of the miles driven.


The fact that the companies saying this are owned by a Major oil coy ought to tell us how seriously we need to take this. I tend to side with a v on this.Royal Dutch Shell would like us to carry on burning their products for ever, as if burning anything to generate power is in any way sustainable.

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