Canadian Biomass Magazine

Fueling the future

April 18, 2012
By Business Wire

Apr. 18, 2012, Des Plaines, IL - Gas Technology Institute hosted an open house at its new Pilot-Scale IH(2) Plant in Chicago, Illinois to demonstrate the successful efforts to broaden biomass-to-liquid hydrocarbon fuel conversion.

Apr.18, 2012, Des Plaines, IL – $2.00 a gallon gasoline may be a thing of the past but with IH(2)
Technology, it can also be part of the very near future.

Today Gas Technology Institute (GTI) hosted an open house at its new
Pilot-Scale IH(2) Plant in Chicago, Illinois to demonstrate the
successful efforts to broaden biomass-to-liquid hydrocarbon fuel

The IH(2) Technology is a catalytic thermochemical
process that promises to be a very cost-effective route to produce
liquid transportation fuels from renewable resources. Based on
assessments and calculations by National Renewable Energy Laboratory
(NREL), the technology has the capability to produce fuel with a U.S.
Department of Energy estimated selling price of less than $2.00/gallon
in commercial production.

The IH(2)process can convert virtually any type of non-food
biomass feedstock–such as wood, agricultural residues, algae, aquatic
plants and solid waste–to a liquid transportation fuel that is
interchangeable with crude-oil-derived fuels and is compatible with
current fueling and vehicle infrastructure. In this way, the IH(2)
process differs from other biofuel technologies that produce crude or
oxygen-containing intermediates that need substantial upgrading to meet
current specifications for transportation fuels.


Using non-food biomass as a feedstock also allows IH(2) to
address two major concerns of the global economy–feeding and fueling the
world's growing populations. IH(2) technology does not compete
with the public food supply to provide the fuel needed for
transportation markets.

In his welcoming remarks, David Carroll, GTI President and CEO, notes,
"One critical issue we're tackling is the creation of sustainable energy
that can help meet U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) obligations. The IH(2)
technology promises to be a cost-effective route to produce liquid
transportation fuel from renewable resources, with the potential to
convert biomass feedstock directly into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel."

"The versatility in feedstocks that can be used allows for regional
production using local resources–good for our economies, the
environment, and beneficial to energy security. The technology could
increase the supply of economical and sustainable transportation fuels
and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector."

GTI has licensed the IH(2) technology to CRI Catalyst Company
(CRI), a company headquartered in Houston, TX, for worldwide deployment.
The timeline to market is short, with commercial introduction expected
in early 2014.

"Before new technologies can effectively compete for a presence in the
market, the potential economic advantage has to be compelling along with
a high probability of success," adds Vann Bush, GTI Managing Director of
Energy Conversion. "Our collaboration with CRI is providing the
necessary results to reduce market and technology risk. CRI provided
much of the funding for the new pilot plant… They will commercialize the
technology and deploy it worldwide."

Pilot plant operation is a critical step along the IH(2)
technology commercialization pathway, as it provides valuable
information to confirm and refine commercial design. In the two months
that the IH(2) pilot plant has been on line, the basic design
principles have been validated.

The pilot plant studies will provide validation of the operational and
performance factors which are key to achieving commercial deployment in
2014, when total advanced biofuels RFS mandates are 3.75 billion
gallons. Woody biomass has been successfully fed through the IH(2)
pilot plant, and has been converted to gasoline, kerosene and diesel
product, comparable to those produced in the R&D project phase.
Subsequent testing will proceed with a variety of feedstocks in support
of U.S. Department of Energy projects and potential technology licensors.

Alan Del Paggio, CRI Vice President, Upstream and Renewables, stated,
"This pilot plant aims to demonstrate the IH(2)process as a
differentiated biofuels technology. The process is designed to have low
environmental impact. Since the commercial IH(2) technology
produces its own hydrogen and a surplus of water to be self-sufficient,
it can operate in a stand-alone configuration anywhere there is
sufficient biomass feed for conversion. Independent life cycle analyses
conducted by Michigan Technology University have shown the process can
achieve >90% greenhouse gas reductions in comparison to fossil fuels
with common feedstocks."

In attendance at the Open House were representatives from many of GTI's
IH(2) project participants who received a first-hand view of
the pilot plant and collection of hydrocarbons prepared from woody
biomass. GTI's funding support for the IH(2) process, R&D and
preliminary engineering for testing in the laboratory and pilot plant
was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (EERE Office of Biomass
Program). Other team members that have also provided financial support
and contributed to the success of the project include CRI, Cargill,
Johnson Timber, Parabel, Aquaflow, Blue Marble Energy, National
Renewable Energy Laboratory and Michigan Technological University.

About Gas Technology Institute (GTI)

GTI is a leading research, development, demonstration and training
organization that has been addressing the nation's energy and
environmental challenges by developing technology-based solutions for
consumers, industry, and government for more than 70 years. Website:

About CRI Catalyst Company and CRI/Criterion Inc.

CRI Catalyst Company ("CRI") is a wholly owned affiliate of
CRI/Criterion Inc. ("C/C"). CRI and C/C are headquartered in Houston.
C/C and/or its affiliates supply advanced catalysts, services, and
technology solutions to the global refining, petrochemical and renewable
fuel communities and they operate research laboratories, development
facilities, manufacturing plants and business units throughout the
world. They are dedicated to providing a broad customer base with
effective and cost-efficient catalysts and technologies. CRI has a range
of products with specific focus on environmental applications, hydrogen
separation and recovery, selective oxidation and hydrogenation and the
production of renewable fuels. Website:

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