Jan 22, 2012, Durham, NC - After a rigorous testing process and 1,000 running hours, Energy Department project partners at ThermoChem Recovery International (TRI) have validated a process that converts wood waste into clean, renewable fuel.
By Scott Jamieson
Pilot validation is a key milestone
for biofuels companies like TRI. With critical engineering data in hand
and the testing phase complete, TRI can now begin the journey toward
full-scale commercialization of a proven technology.
With the support of Energy Department funding, TRI has
done substantial testing of a thermal gasification and gas-to-liquids
process at its pilot plant in Durham, North Carolina. Through its
operations, TRI converted several hundred tons of 100% woody biomass
feedstock into diesel fuel and paraffin waxes. TRI has collected over
1,000 hours of operational data that validates the process, while
meeting or exceeding all of their operational and product yield targets.
This achievement will directly benefit two biorefinery projects in Wisconsin that are cost-shared by the Department: NewPage Corporation’s biorefinery, “Project Independence,” in Wisconsin Rapids and Flambeau River Papers biorefinery
in Park Falls. TRI’s data will help inform final engineering design of
their future biorefineries. The gasification and gas-to-liquids
technology will be integrated into their existing pulp and paper mills
to produce clean, renewable, marketable diesel fuel and paraffin waxes,
and will also provide additional renewable energy by supplying steam and
hot water to the co-located paper mill.
TRI’s thousand hours of runtime is key to the success of
the NewPage and Flambeau projects, and a notable milestone on the way to
a clean energy economy. It’s an important achievement in the
Department’s portfolio of efforts to deploy advanced bioenergy and
bioproducts that replace foreign oil, reduce the greenhouse gas impacts
of transportation fuels, and open up new economic opportunities for