Thread: synthetic gasoline anyone?
08-28-2009, 06:35 AM #1
synthetic gasoline anyone?
AMHERST - A revolutionary technology, developed by a University of Massachusetts researcher, that cheaply produces chemicals and liquid fuels has been licensed to a biofuels start-up company, which is considering Springfield for its $20 million pilot plant.
The company, Anellotech, has been granted exclusive global rights to the technology developed by UMass chemical engineer George Huber. His patent-pending technique offers a low-cost, single-step process for turning sawdust, woody stalks and other waste biomass into gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil and valuable chemical commodities, such as benzene, toluene and xylene.
"Huber's new technique has been the most sought-after technology the campus has licensed to date. We've noted unprecedented interest from a number of quarters," said Nick DeCristofaro, director of the UMass Office of Commercial Ventures, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer.
Under rules agreed to by UMass researchers, the university shares in profits from research done on campus.
Anellotech, which is based for the moment in New York City, is considering Springfield as a location for its pilot plant, said Huber, who is chairman of the company's scientific advisory board.
"We'd like to have it somewhere in Western Massachusetts, and we'd like to use Springfield, but we're looking at several locations," he said.
"The plant involves around 15 to 20 jobs at Anellotech and another 20 to 30 jobs would be created indirectly. Many of the jobs would be for technicians to run the equipment," he said.
Huber's process involves the rapid heating of biomass, such as wood, grass or other plants, to 750 and 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit, then rapid cooling, to extract hydrocarbons. He and his research team were able to produce a liquid identical to gasoline in a single-step process that took under a minute. The cost of the resulting biofuel may be as little as $1 a gallon, Huber has said. However, the more valuable products are the chemicals that can be created with the technology, such as benzene, toluene and xylene.
Huber was featured in a recent cover story in Scientific American magazine and in an online Science Nation video produced by the National Science Foundation.
"Anything you can make from crude oil, in the next 10 to 20 years we can make from biomass," Huber said.
"One of the beauties of biofuel is that the products are indistinguishable from those derived from petroleum oil today. People are going to pull up to the gas station and pump fuel produced with this clean, green technology in their cars without necessarily being aware of it. All the changes will be made on the front end, at the biorefinery. Rather than refining crude oil we're going to be refining renewable biomass," he said.
It is hoped that newer, second-generation technologies, such as Huber's, will produce commercial amounts of biofuel within the next 10 years at a price that can compete with gasoline.
08-28-2009, 06:26 PM #2
Alternative fuel source
Wow, that sounds fantastic!
08-28-2009, 09:37 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jul 2007
- near Toronto, Canada
Catalytic fast pyrolysis technology may well come to commercial production, but it isn't happening tomorrow.
"...Anellotech said that its technology would produce commercial amounts of biofuel at price parity with gasoline by 2019.
The company is developing a 2 ton per day pilot project and raising Series A venture capital. The first plant is scheduled to complete construction by 2014, according to the companyís website...."
"...Anellotech doesnít yet have a headquarters, but the fledgling company is applying for grants and raising funds from investors..."
08-29-2009, 07:24 PM #4
- Join Date
- Nov 2007
- Odessa, TX
How much energy is created versus what is used to get the biomass 750-1100 degress F? This is an important question
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