Byogy Renewables Inc., a Texas company, has licensed the production of what it says is the Holy Grail of biofuel and will open a plant in the near future to create 95-octane gasoline from biomass.
The company expects the biomass gasoline market to be 2.5 billion by 2022. The first such gasoline will be available by 2010, Byogy says. The company worked with academics from Texas A&M University System and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) to create the technology. Its plant will have raw garbage going in one end and 95-octane gasoline coming out the other.
“The advanced process is possibly the only integrated system that converts biomass directly to gasoline”, according to Byogy. “Most other emerging processes convert the biomass into alcohol and then blend it with gasoline. The system is relatively inexpensive and focuses on using biomass waste streams and non-food energy crops rather than food products such as corn”, the company said.
The cost involved in producing biomass based gasoline are estimated at between $1.70 and $2.00 per gallon, depending on the type and cost of biomass used and the size of the operating plant. The estimate also excludes all government subsidies and tax credits. That price level would of course provide a much needed bufferzone for consumers faced with a credit crunch.
“This technology is important because it addresses many issues – eliminating waste, producing economical fuel quickly and being friendly to our environment,” the company says. Byogy plans to build 200 more bio refineries which will produce 2 percent of the nation’s gasoline demand by 2022,” according to Benjamin J. Brant, President and Chief Technology Officer of Byogy.
The focus at the initial plant would be on using urban waste, which the plant would grind, sort and then convert into gasoline. The fuel produced by this process could immediately be used as a drop-in substitute to the current petroleum gasoline supplies with a seamless integration into the existing fuel distribution infrastructure. Nothing needs to be changed at retail gas stations, pipelines, regional fuel terminals or in any motor vehicle.
Biomass includes garbage, bio solids from wastewater treatment plants, green waste such as lawn clippings, food waste, and any type of livestock manure. One oft cited advantage of biomass as a feedstock for fuel is that it does not put a strain on food supplies. But the process could also utilize non-food/feed crops grown specifically for biomass energy, including willow. “We are positioning ourselves not only to handle the opportunity biomass waste streams that are available today, but also the sustainable biomass energy crops of the future,” said Daniel L. Rudnick, Chief Executive Officer of Byogy.