Sundrop Fuels, Louisville, Colorado, has announced commercialization plans for its unique radiant particle reactor system that converts literally any kind of biomass
into drop-in fuels (gasoline, diesel and Jet-A) at unsubsidized cost of less than $2/gal.
Sundrop with natural gas supplier Chesapeake Energy, Oklahoma City (50% owner of privately held Sundrop) have announced plans to build the first of a number of bio-refineries on a 1200 acre site near Alexandria, Louisiana, with a planned output of 50 million gallons of “green” gasoline per year. Chesapeake is the 2nd largest U.S. producer of natural gas.
The hybrid Sundrop process combines carbon from a broad spectrum of cellulosic materials (including forest waste) with hydrogen from natural gas. It is claimed to create the highest fuel energy recovery compared with all biomass fuels processes. Sundrop “RPReactor” heat transfer technology can produce twice the output of either of the two typical gasification processes; entrained flow and indirect heated bed, as well as the biochemical process typically used to produce cellulosic ethanol on an energy equivalent basis.
It is indicated that resulting initial product, green gasoline, can be marketed at prices equal to or less than competitive petroleum based fuel.
Chesapeake Energy’s $150 million investment participation (total $450 million project investment) reflects Chesapeake’s leading position in the natural gas reserves in the Haynesville Shale in Louisiana and the firm’s policy investment of 1%-2% of its annual drilling budget towards projects that increase demand for natural gas.
The initial Sundrop production unit is expected to take 2 years to complete, will employ 150 people (30 in R&D) and is targeted for operation of several units with total
output of 1 billion/gal/yr of drop-in green fuel by 2020.
Separately, Byogy Renewables, San Jose, CA, has announced a system to upgrade virtually any ethanol to Jet-A fuel without need for hydrotreating or blending with
conventional fuel to protect engine seals. A by-product of the system is pure fresh water.
Byogy is collaborating with Qatar Airways on a Jet-A fuel distribution system.
Byogy CEO Kevin Weiss tells AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRIES that as the cost of ethanol drops below $1.50/gal, the Byogy Jet-A system will be cost competitive with petroleum. Since BP biofuels and Algenol biofuels have both indicated their respective ethanol product is now at the $1/gal basic cost level, the Byogy technology may be very timely.