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jueves, 3 de agosto de 2017

SynSel plans to build two advanced biofuels plants in USA

SynSel Energy, Inc. (SynSel) is a developer and integrator of biorefining processes, whose vision is becoming a leading producer of 2G drop-in biofuels using environmentally friendly and sustainable technology. It is based in Elmhurst (Illinois) and operates in USA and Canada. The company is particularly focused on revitalizing communities devastated by the closure of pulp and paper mills, creating jobs and strengthening energy security.

According to its page web, they have projects under development or consideration in the following locations: Grand Rapids (Minnesota, USA), Eureka (California, USA), Louisville (Mississippi, USA), Lumberton (Mississippi, USA), Missoula (Montana, USA), Ontonagon (Michigan, USA) and Portage-du-Fort (Quebec, Canada). A Michigan on-line publication reported on 17th July that Ontanogon and Lumberton have been selected as initial sites in USA for the construction of advanced biofuels plants (see news).

In Ontonagon, the facility would be built at the site of the former Smurfit-Stone Paper Mill that was closed in 2010. The county has consistently had one of the highest unemployment rates in the state and the potential project could be a huge step in reversing this trend. Each biorefinery is expected to cost $300 million and create about 250 direct and indirect jobs. SynSel is currently securing each plant’s construction project deposit. The final decision is anticipated to be taken within the next several months.

The process

SynSel utilizes a thermocatalytic process to convert non-food biomass feedstock (wood waste from mill operations and forest residues) into synthetic gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel.

The conversion process consists of 5 key steps:
  1. Feedstock sizing and moisture control to specification.
  2. Hydropyrolysis.
  3. Hydroconversion.
  4. Distillation to remove trace aromatics.
  5. Product recovery to separate the biofuel into gasoline, diesel and aviation fuel.

Figure 1. SynSel biorefinery concept (extracted from SynSel web page)

SynSel biorefineries are the anchors to future Enviro Industrial Parks where process waste byproducts are used to generate bioproducts. The thermocatalytic conversion process produces marketable commodities like biogenic carbon dioxide, biochar, nitrogen-based fertilizer and process heat.

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