Strategic Biofuels licenses Johnson Matthey-bp FT CANS technology for Louisiana plant
27 February 2023
Strategic Biofuels has selected Johnson Matthey’s (JM’s) Fischer Tropsch (FT) CANS technology—co-developed with bp—for its Louisiana Green Fuels project (LGF) in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana. Located on a 327-acre site at the Port of Columbia, the LGF plant plans to convert 1 million tons of forestry waste feedstock into cleaner-burning renewable diesel and is projected to produce 31.8 million gallons of biofuels per year once in operation.
The aim is to increase production to more than 165 million gallons per year of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels over 10 to 12 years.
The LGF plant currently aims to be operational by early 2027 and is expected to produce about 87% renewable diesel and 13% bionaphtha. The renewable diesel could be used as a blend component in conventional diesel or as a 100% paraffinic diesel finished fuel and the bionaphtha can be blended into the gasoline pool.
Strategic Biofuels is planning to utilize carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology at its LGF plant to drive down carbon emissions further. With the use of this technology, the Carbon Intensity (CI) of the LGF project, according to Life Cycle Associates, a leading analytical firm for the California Air Resources Board, would score at minus 294 (-294 gCO2e/MJ).
FT CANS technology, which will be leveraged at the LGF plant, was jointly developed by bp and Johnson Matthey to deliver environmental and operational benefits. It converts synthesis gas (syngas), generated from sources such as industrial emissions, direct air capture, municipal solid waste or other biomass, into long-chain hydrocarbons suitable for the production of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels.
The advanced CANS catalyst carrier reactor consists of modular catalyst containers providing modified reactant flow paths. This configuration delivers improved mass transfer and kinetics plus low pressure drops, enabling reactor intensification. The reactor design combines the advantages of fixed bed tubular reactors with slurry phase systems. The modular design enables scalable and operationally simplistic Fischer–Tropsch synthesis while the smaller catalyst particles offer high productivity and selectivity.
Benefit of CANS Catalyst Carriers for heat transfer and commercial tube pressure drop. Peacock et al.
In 2022, JM announced its refreshed strategy with an ambition to be the number one player across the syngas value chain, targeting an addressable market of up to £12 billion by 2030. As a large-scale project, this licence to Strategic Biofuels hits one of JM’s key strategic milestones.
Peacock, M., Paterson, J., Reed, L. et al. (2020) “Innovation in Fischer–Tropsch: Developing Fundamental Understanding to Support Commercial Opportunities.” Top Catal 63, 328–339 doi: 10.1007/s11244-020-01239-6 (Open access)
Biofuels may be carbon neutral but in densely populated areas, residents get the full concentrated doses doused upon them. What could work in sparsely populated locations does not provide any pollution reduction in densely populated environments.
So what is the actual sense behind biofuels other than nonsense?
Posted by: yoatmon | 27 February 2023 at 06:17 AM
Biofuels can provide a market for forest wastes, for which there is a desperate need. Forest wastes are now just burned (see, e.g., https://www.redrockbio.com/), which releases not only CO2 emissions, but totally uncontrolled non-GHG emissions like PM2.5, NOx, etc.
Why not produce fuel with these waste resources, which can be used to perform useful work and have emission controls which virtually eliminate non-GHG emissions?
The fuel produce at this LGF facility is supposed to be carbon negative, with a CI of -294 g CO2e/ MJ, according to the above article.
Posted by: Carl | 27 February 2023 at 10:52 AM
Ethanol and gasoline from corn stalks is possible
Posted by: SJC | 27 February 2023 at 11:41 AM
SJC the obvious advantage of going to long chain pure hydrocarbons is energy density. As well as hydrocarbons having no corrosion issues that the hydrophilic alcohols present to metals in the fuel system. Added benefit is no need to change the engines or fuel systems or ECU to be calibrated for a fuel type with less energy density.
Ethanol is 24MJ/L
JET A 35MJ/L
A huge advantage to this process is feed source agnostic it doesn't need pure cellulose nor enzymes for hydrolysis its hate brute force approach blast everything to carbon monoxide, hydrogen and water vapor then build up molecule by molecule. You can use corn stocks for sure or forestry wastes or sewage sludge or animal manures/bedding litters. Municipal solid waste, construction and demolition wastes, in theory you could use harbor dredging organic wastes, micro or macro algae, kelp, any seaweed really. Ask Raven to use their Steam/CO2 Reformer process which can take soaking wet feed stocks and blast them to high quality syngas. Water is a key ingredient to their orocess.
Posted by: JamesDo88039200 | 27 February 2023 at 11:14 PM
So what is the actual sense behind biofuels other than nonsense?
As @Carl and @James point out, the FT CANS Technology is using biomass waste which left to rot will create GHG. Yes it is feed source agnostic and uses CCS to make sure CO2 is also part of the fuel instead of simply burning the waste.
As pointed out, FT CANS technology “ converts synthesis gas (syngas), generated from sources such as industrial emissions, direct air capture, municipal solid waste or other biomass, into long-chain hydrocarbons suitable for the production of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuels.”
While this project is currently focused on renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is the most important area for biofuels. SAF is an accepted choice of the airlines and will not greatly affect any specific community.
Posted by: Gryf | 28 February 2023 at 09:05 AM
The IRA will do more to make it happen than commenting online.
Posted by: SJC | 28 February 2023 at 03:57 PM
@gryf SAF is the only way to have trans Pacific 10000km plus flights only liquid hydrocarbons have the energy density to fuel such flights no conceivable or theoretical battery technology has the energy density to power such a flight. Liquid hydrogen has 1/3 the density of liquid fuels on a volume basis the tanks would need to be three times as large. Hydrogen will work for regional or trans continental flights but why go through the trouble to totally redesign the airframe, power plants, fuel systems and most importantly the fuel infrastructure worldwide when you can use FT tech to make JP8 or Jet A1 spec fuels from any form of biomass be it wastes or energy crops or salt water agriculture/aquaculture. The entire USA jet fuel consumption could be covered with just the agricultural wastes currently left in tbe fields to rot the vast bulk of the USA liquid fuel consumption is personal LDV. The second most is medium/heavy duty trucks. Those two are why we need to move local.driving as in under 50 miles per day which is 95% of all LDV driving to plug in hybrids or BEV run the hybrid engines on biofuels or electro fuels made with off peak or curtailment energy for the 5% of trips over 50 miles this alone would cut 95% of all liquid fuel usage in the LDV sector without needing $30,000+ battery packs a tesla 3 goes 4 miles per kwh a 15kwh LiFePO4 pack taken to 80% DOD is 12kwh usable or 48 miles that covers 95% of ALL LDV trips in a daily basis. Even at $150 a kwh a 15kwh pack is $2250 the electric drive trains are going to be mass produced and replace all forms of transmissions and differentials only the source of electricity will matter be it a large battery pack or a small pack and a 2-3 cylinder ICE running on some form of high density liquid fuel from a cheap plastic tank not Gucci eexpensive carbon fiber pressure tanks with boutique hydrogen gas at 700+ bar. It's much cheaper to have a $2250 pack plus a 2cyl 1000cc modified 16:1 compression motorcycle engine driving a AC generator into the inverters of the electric drive units which have to be present in a BEV anyways. It's a given that a small 15kwh pack and cheap modified moto engine is going to cost less than a 80kwh pack. I don't understand the hard on for large packs they weight literally a ton or more and will never ...NEVER have the energy density of liquid fuels that's pure freshmen level physics.
I digress this was about aviation fuels so in the USA, Aircraft use 9%, rail 4% and water(domestic ships/barges/ferrys) 2% all three of those combined could be fueled with FT synthetics and all three need the 35+MJ/L energy density to complete their missions. The USA is too vast for electrification of rails across the great plains its vastly cheaper to use diesel electric locos and fuel them with FT fuels there is a case there for LNG tanker cars as fuel tenders and dualfuel locos engines. In that case landfill gas as SNG makes sense if readily available or synthetic methane from FT syn tech using Iron catalysts in FT at high temps yields.mostly C1-C4 alkanes methane,ethane,propane,butane the first two are.liquids at cryo temps the.second two at room temp and 120-200psi either can be put into tanker cars and pulled as tenders directly behind a dualfuel loco. One tender car =30000 gallons
One gal propane is 92500btu, one gal butane is 130,000 btu.
30000*92500= 2,775,000,000 /3412btu/kwh=813,305.978898 kwh or 813 megawatt hours large diesel loco engines are 44 to 48% efficient. Let that sink in that s over 400 MEGAWATTS in a single tanker car as a tender batteries will NEVER equal that again it's the laws of physics.
For butane as a tender fuel it goes up drastically.
30,000*130,000/3412=1,143,024.6189917 kwh that s over a gigawatt hour even at 44% efficiency well over 500 megawatt hours. You would need a warehouse of lithium cells to equal that and this is why trains,ships and aircraft will always use liquid fuels for any mission requiring real distances to be covered as in 100+ miles. Aircraft and ships operate in the thousands to tens of thousands of miles per single trip.
Posted by: JamesDo88039200 | 01 March 2023 at 05:58 AM
"What could work in sparsely populated locations does not provide any pollution reduction in densely populated environments."
This may have been the case a decade ago but with modern emissions laws and technology in most cities the air coming out of a EPA Tier 3 Bin 0 is also equal to CARB ZEV as in zero emissions vehicle rating is cleaner than the air that went into the engine intake. There have been demonstrated cases where the air going into a Tier 3 Bin 0 vehicle had higher NOx, PM2.5 and VOC numbers than after it came out because of the triple catalysts and PM filters. All new vehicles will have to meet T3B0 they currently have to hit T2B5 which is equal to the SULEV of just five years ago that's super ultra low emissions vehicle which is a thousand times cleaner than a vehicle in the 1980s when cats first came out. So no using biofuels will not cause increased pollution technology solved that issue a decade ago. now the EPA is chasing the last literally individual ppm level emissions. Growing Trees put out NOx at higher levels and particulates too, the largest source of particulates now is tire ,brake and road surface wear dusts BEV create more of tire and road surface wear dusts because they are drastically heavier than ICE vehicles and road wear plus tore wear scales at the cube root of vehicular weight. Regen brakes cut brake dust not the overall effect is more particulates from tires and road wear swamps the savings in brake dusts. The main sources of NOx in a given American city is dominated by power plants coal and gas turbines in tthat order, then diesel of vintages before SCR and urea mandates which California just banned every one of those old.trucks and equipment. Then in some states Texas in particular plus North Dakota gas flares in the oil industry is a massive NOx+SOx source dwarfing all other sources in those states. Forest fires are also a massive source looking at you California and Colorado.
Posted by: JamesDo88039200 | 01 March 2023 at 06:38 AM