Biofuels

Pyrolysis Oil

Battelle experts recently surpassed the 1,200-hour mark of continuous operation on a single catalyst during hydrotreatment of bio-oil created by a mobile catalytic pyrolysis unit. Battelle team passes important department of energy pyrolysis milestone

April 22, 2015 - Scientists at the U.S-based company Battelle recently succeeded at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) challenge of making commercially viable transportation fuels from biomass pyrolysis. The team demonstrated the durability of a continuous hydrotreatment process that converts bio oil from biomass pyrolysis into transportation and aviation fuels. The DOE's specific challenge was to demonstrate at least 1,000 hours of bio oil hydrotreatment on a single catalyst charge, while producing a fuel product suitable as a transportation fuel-blend stock at commercially realistic yield. Longevity of hydrotreatment catalysts has long been the Achilles' heel for converting biomass pyrolysis oils to biofuels. Battelle, with its proprietary process and the help of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), was able to overcome and surpass this hurdle relatively quickly, and now has successfully registered more than 1,200 hours on its hydrotreatment catalysts. Scientists and engineers have set their sights on achieving the commercial standard of 4,000 hours in the near future. Zia Abdullah, Institute Fellow at Battelle, was the principal investigator on the project. "I am grateful to the DOE for their partnership in this effort and to Battelle's leadership for their ongoing commitment," says Abdullah. Marathon Petroleum Corporation provided Battelle with some support in the DOE and helped in assessing the biofuel product. Scientists at PNNL developed bio oil stabilization catalysts for Battelle's process. John Holladay, manager of the biomass sector at PNNL, agrees. "This is how public-private partnerships are supposed to work and it couldn't have happened without DOE's support," he says. Battelle's leadership is committed to biofuels but see the best near term market opportunities in biochemicals. "Biochemicals to enable biofuels," notes Drew Bond, vice president for technology commercialization for Battelle's energy, health and environment business. "Simply put, that's our strategy. And we're not alone in this but I can say that we are quite far along thanks to the foresight of our leadership." Since 2011, Marty Toomajian, president of Battelle's energy, health and environment business, has led Battelle's efforts to commercialize a distributed pyrolysis system for bio oil production. "Energy security is all about energy supply diversity," he says. "We have tremendous fossil reserves in our country that should not be taken for granted. But neither should we take our renewable resources for granted. That's why our work at Battelle spans across both, with the goal to maximize our fossil and renewable resources, which aligns with the President's "all the above" strategy in the energy sector." Battelle has also made significant progress towards commercializing its modular pyrolysis systems. It already has scaled up its proprietary technology from concept to a pilot system that processes more than one ton of biomass per day.  It was Battelle's ton-per-day pilot system that supplied the bio oil for its DOE-funded hydrotreating project. Adding to the achievements and near-term commercial focus, late last year Battelle entered into a strategic partnership with Equinox Chemicals, a specialty chemical manufacturer. Together, they seek to use the platform pyrolysis technology for the production of biopolyols and biochemicals with applications in multiple, rapidly growing, high-value markets.

Pellets

Dave Peterson, ADM for Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, kicked off the panel discussion. Fibre availability and access: challenges and opportunities

June 24, 2016 – One of the hottest topics for bioenergy producers, access and availability of fibre, took centre stage during an experts panel at the International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition in Prince George, B.C. Dave Peterson, ADM for Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, kicked off the panel discussion by discussing challenges and opportunities surrounding fibre availability and access. Peterson discussed the various fibre supply challenges in B.C., including a decline in availability of sawmill residuals; declining fibre harvesting; constantly changing market conditions; the economically availability access to residual fibre and society’s changing desires around environmental stewardship. He also touched upon the 13-point Forest Fibre Action Plan briefly, which includes recommendations for improving the harvesting of residuals through initiatives such as supplemental forest licenses for harvesting woody biomass. One of the ways Peterson said is being reviewed to help supply bioenergy producers with additional fibre is through wildfire management by clearing stands affected by wildfire or at high risk of wildfire. Peterson added that there’s still a lot of challenges related to securing economically viable fibre from the bush for secondary users. “In terms of harvest residuals, we’ve got a long way to go,” he said. “There’s lots of opportunities there… but only a small part of that opportunity is currently economic.” Rob McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy discussed the utilization of fibre for wood pellets and stressed the need for finding an economically sustainable way to harvest residuals in the bush.“How can we get that fibre and use it effectively?” he said. Pinnacle recently curtailed its pellet plant in Quesnel, B.C. due to a lack of fibre availability. The plant had been in operation since 1989 but was designed to produce pellets using sawmill residuals that are no longer available. McCurdy said his company is currently looking at ways to obtain a long-term fibre supply for the plant in a way that is economically viable so the company can justify investing the necessary upgrades to the facility to produce pellets using non-sawmill residuals. “The key is what is that fibre basket going to look like so we can put the capital back in and bring that plant back up again?” he said. McCurdy also touched on the 13-point Forest Fibre Action Plan, stating that the industry has not been able to find a way to translate the action plan into a sustainable supply of fibre for pellet plant producers.“We made a bold move in the province when we took the beehive burners out,” he said, adding that the industry now needs a bold move for harvesting residuals. June 16, 2016 – One of the hottest topics for bioenergy producers, access and available of fibre, took centre stage during an experts panel at the International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition in Prince George, B.C. Dave Peterson, ADM for Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, kicked off the panel discussion by discussing challenges and opportunities surrounding fibre availability and access. Peterson discussed the various fibre supply challenges in B.C., including a decline in availability of sawmill residuals; declining fibre harvesting; constantly changing market conditions; the economically availability access to residual fibre and society’s changing desires around environmental stewardship. He also touched upon the 13-point Forest Fibre Action Plan briefly, which includes recommendations for improving the harvesting of residuals through initiatives such as supplemental forest licenses for harvesting woody biomass. One of the ways Peterson said is being reviewed to help supply bioenergy producers with additional fibre is through wildfire management by clearing stands affected by wildfire or at high risk of wildfire. Peterson added that there’s still a lot of challenges related to securing economically viable fibre from the bush for secondary users. “In terms of harvest residuals, we’ve got a long way to go,” he said. “There’s lots of opportunities there… but only a small part of that opportunity is currently economic.” Rob McCurdy, CEO of Pinnacle Renewable Energy discussed the utilization of fibre for wood pellets and stressed the need for finding an economically sustainable way to harvest residuals in the bush. “How can we get that fibre and use it effectively?” he said. Pinnacle recently curtailed its pellet plant in Quesnel, B.C. due to a lack of fibre availability. The plant had been in operation since 1989 but was designed to produce pellets using sawmill residuals that are no longer available. McCurdy said his company is currently looking at ways to obtain a long-term fibre supply for the plant in a way that is economically viable so the company can justify investing the necessary upgrades to the facility to produce pellets using non-sawmill residuals. “The key is what is that fibre basket going to look like so we can put the capital back in and bring that plant back up again?” he said.  McCurdy also touched on the 13-point Forest Fibre Action Plan, stating that the industry has not been able to find a way to translate the action plan into a sustainable supply of fibre for pellet plant producers. “We made a bold move in the province when we took the beehive burners out,” he said, adding that the industry now needs a bold move for harvesting residuals. - See more at: http://www.canadianbiomassmagazine.ca/news/fibre-availability-and-access-challenges-and-opportunities-5751#sthash.8loI9kld.dpuf More coverage of the 2016 International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition: Prince George expands DES  Bioenergy, an industry in transition IBCE 2016 comes to Prince George Bioenergy sector's opportunities and challenges - See more at: http://www.canadianbiomassmagazine.ca/news/fibre-availability-and-access-challenges-and-opportunities-5751#sthash.8loI9kld.dpuf

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