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Arbor Renewable Gas evaluating West Baton Rouge for $800M renewable gasoline and green hydrogen plant

Arbor Renewable Gas LLC, a Houston-based company formed in 2019 that produces renewable gasoline and green hydrogen from wood waste and forest residue (earlier post), is evaluating West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana for a planned $800-million manufacturing and distribution facility employing carbon capture and sequestration emissions-reduction technology.

Operating as Magnolia Renewable Fuels LLC, the new facility would produce renewable gasoline from wood waste biomass sourced from Louisiana and Mississippi timber operations. The project would create 32 new direct jobs with average annual salaries of $99,000, plus benefits. Louisiana Economic Development estimates the project would also support at least 110 indirect jobs, for a total of 142 new jobs in Louisiana’s Capital Region. The company estimates development of the facility would generate up to 880 construction jobs at peak construction.

The company plans to locate its greenfield facility at the Port Allen Rail Terminal, which offers railroad and highway accessibility and proximity to timber operations. Magnolia will source southern yellow pine pre-commercial thinnings, a byproduct of routine forest management operations. Arbor Gas recently announced a similar project in Beaumont, Texas.

At full capacity, this plant will have a production capacity of 2,000 barrels per day of renewable gasoline with the potential for further expansion. The product would be blended with conventional gasoline to achieve renewable fuel standards in the US and Europe.

—Arbor Gas CEO Timothy Vail

Initial plans call for the installation of two product trains, with the capacity for future expansions. Arbor Gas projects that each train will sequester approximately 275,000 tons of CO2 annually. Construction is expected to begin in late 2023, with the first train in operation by the end of 2025.

To secure the Arbor Gas project in West Baton Rouge Parish, the State of Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes the services of LED FastStart, the No. 1 ranked statewide workforce development program in the US for the past 12 years. The company is also expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.



I've downloaded the most recent report on hydrogen, from DNV, who are an advisory and insurance specialist, so do not have an obvious axe to grind:


And although they see considerable expansion in hydrogen out to 2050, they don't see enough to limit Global warming, which they reckon would have to rise to around 15% of energy supplies in that time frame, whereas they reckon we are on track for only around 5%.

Note they are not really talking about hydrogen vs batteries in EVs etc, but hydrogen's vital uses in areas which otherwise are difficult or impossible to decarbonise.


Here is a piece on the development of hydrogen storage to enable ZEV steel production in Sweden:


I was familiar with salt cavern storage, but had not come across lined rock caverns before.


And here is H2 Clipper, a hydrogen airship:


One of its uses they foresee is for hydrogen delivery.

Here are some of their claims:

' By using liquid hydrogen and fuel cell technology for propulsion, the H2 Clipper can operate efficiently at service ranges from under 500 to well over 6,000 miles. At 175 mph, and using vertical take-off and landing, the H2 Clipper can deliver goods directly from a factory in China to a distribution center in the U.S. in less than 36 hours.'

'With an average cruising speed of 175 mph, the H2 Clipper operates at a cost of between $0.177 to $0.247 per ton-mile for distances of 1,000 to 6,000 miles. This is less than one-quarter the cost of traditional air freighters. The combination of the airship’s range, speed, payload, and cost make the H2 Clipper highly disruptive.'

' The H2 Clipper utilizes 100% green hydrogen both as a lifting gas and as fuel. By using modern fuel cell technology, fresh water is the H2 Clipper's only operating by-product. It is not only 7X to 10X faster than a ship and 4X less costly than an air freighter, but also the only climate pledge friendly alternative for long-haul transport.'

Also of interest, and a claim I would go along with having looked at several CF tank safety testing videos and read the regs, is this under 'FAQs - explosion risk:

' Although hydrogen is flammable, based on the use of proper safety technology, the hydrogen that provides lift and propulsion for the H2 Clipper will not explode even in the most severe of circumstances.

Hydrogen fuel cell electric automobiles and trucks have been subject to extensive testing to prove this is the case. For example, it is well documented that a rifle fired at a tank filled with gasoline, diesel fuel, or natural gas will cause the tank to explode like a bomb. However, the same rifle shot from short range at a tank filled with hydrogen will cause a hole in the tank from which the hydrogen will be released, but no explosion (see video here).

It is also well documented that if a gasoline leak from a car is ignited, the tank will explode and rapidly consume the entire vehicle. But doing the same thing – igniting a leak – in a hydrogen tank will result in a faint blue flame escaping the tank until all the hydrogen is exhausted. Unlike the gasoline tank, this does not create an explosion and doesn't even raise the internal temperature of the vehicle by more than a couple of degrees (see video here).

The reason for this is the enormous expansion rate of hydrogen, and the fact that hydrogen is lighter than air and naturally moves to rise. In short, rigorous testing has confirmed that hydrogen is by far the safest fuel known to humans, as has been repeatedly demonstrated whenever a hydrogen accident has occurred, and no explosion followed. Honda, Toyota and Hyundai currently sell hydrogen fuel cell cars in California; and with over 60,000 hydrogen refueling events by ordinary citizens, not a single explosion has ever been reported. That’s a record that even battery-powered electric vehicles would envy!'

I am a lot keener on this than the use of helium for lift, but it is early days of course.


Maybe H2 Clipper needs to watch “ NOVA: Hindenburg: The New Evidence”. https://www.kpbs.org/news/arts-culture/2021/05/17/nova-hindenburg-new-evidence
This deals with electrical charges move on the skin surfaces.
“History's Mysteries: Caltech Professor Helps Solve Hindenburg Disaster”,



I would imagine that the engineers at H2 Clipper follow all news on hydrogen engineering very closely, including this theory on the airframe acting as a capacitor and building up charge.

It would seem to be a very specific set of conditions needed to create a problem, so for instance:

' The skin was lashed to the aircraft's aluminum frame, but kept from touching it by wooden pegs inserted between the two. The gap between the frame and the skin would prove fatal to 35 of the 97 individuals onboard the airship plus one ground-crew member.'

So perhaps the answer would be not to do that.

It hardly sounds to me like a completely prohibitive barrier, with no potential solutions.

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