Friday, July 25, 2014

Velocys Thinking Big with Microreactors

Keep the applause down!  Contain your enthusiasm for yet another biomass- or gas-to-liquids company.  Over the past several weeks I have written about a number of privately-held developers of one technology or another intended to produce a drop-in renewable fuel from biomass or natural gas.  There are more,  In this post we check in on Velocys (VCL:  London), which stands out from the rest as a public company.  No matter that it's technology looks like that of the very next renewable fuel company, it is accessible to minority investors.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Reason to Pay Attention to Sun Drop Fuels

It would be an oversight to leave Sun Drop Fuels out of my recent string of articles on advanced biofuels developers.  Based in Colorado, Sun Drop is trying to perfect a proprietary process to turn biomass of one sort or another into a drop-in fuel using ultra-high temperatures and intense pressure.  It is a gas reforming process that should sound very familiar after the last few posts on Renmatix, Primus Green Energy and Licella.  Carbon from the gasification of the biomass is mixed with a bit of hydrogen from natural gas is expected to yield a neat fuel ready to ‘drop in’ to existing gasoline infrastructure.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Renmatix Wants to be Your Sugar Daddy

In the post “Licella’s Pot is Boiling” on July 11, 2014, I described the progress Licella has made in developing its ‘supercritical water’ process to produce biochemicals and fuel from waste biomass.  Licella is not the only company that has been working on supercritical hydrolysis technologies.  Privately-held Renmatix based in Pennsylvania is also using high heat to break down cellulosic materials into sugar  -  the five-carbon sugar called xylose and six-carbon sugar called glucose to be exact.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Primus Wants to Green Up Fossil Fuel

“Incremental commercialization” are the words Primus Green Energy uses to describe its use of natural gas as a feed stock for transportation fuel.  The company promises to convert to biomass such as wood pellets or Miscanthus as soon as its gasification technology is perfected.  I realize it is popular to characterize natural gas as a green energy source, but I am reluctant to take that leap.  Natural gas is after all a fossil fuel derived from the same dead plant matter that is providing us with coal and crude oil.