Mon 22 Sept 2008 – UOP, a leader in fuel refining process technologies, and Ensyn, a pioneer in biomass to liquid technology, have formed a joint venture to offer technology and equipment to convert second-generation biomass into oil for power generation, heating fuel and eventually for conversion into transportation fuels, including biojet fuel.
The venture will offer Ensysn’s Rapid Thermal Processing (RTP) technology, which converts biomass like forest and agricultural wastes to bio-oil, also known as pyrolysis oil, and accelerate research and development efforts to commercialize next-generation technology to refine the bio-oil into transport fuels such as jet fuel.
Ensyn’s RTP process involves biomass such as wood chips or straw being rapidly heated to 500 degrees C at ambient pressure and then rapidly cooled – all in the space of two seconds – to generate high yields of a light, pourable liquid bio-oil. Established in 1984, Ensyn has designed, built and commissioned seven commercial RTP plants in the United States and Canada. The largest, located in Renfrew, Ontario has the capacity to process 100 tonnes of dry residual wood per day. Projects now underway will result, says the company, in plants 5-10 times the size of the Renfrew plant.
UOP has commercialized its own Ecofining process to produce green diesel fuel from biological feedstocks and has also developed process technology to produce renewable jet fuel. It is involved in a joint initiative with Airbus, International Aero Engines, Honeywell Aerospace and airline JetBlue to develop and test second-generation biojet fuels.
“The widespread use of residual biomass – a clean, sustainable source of energy – is a major step forward in reducing our carbon footprint and broadening our energy resources,” said Jennifer Holmgren, UOP’s Director of Renewable Energy and Chemicals. “We are confident that the combined resources of UOP and Ensyn will allow this venture to commercialize viable solutions for converting biomass to drop-in transportation fuels in the next three years.”
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