W2 Energy to sell new biomass-to-energy product

By Erin Voegele
Web exclusive posted Nov. 14, 2008 at 9:59 a.m. CST

W2 Energy Inc., a U.S.-based green energy company, announced Nov. 11 it's beginning to market small-scale biomass-to-energy systems. The modular systems, which are capable of producing both liquid fuels and electricity, will cost $2.25 million.

The system can process four tons of carbon-based materials per day, including biomass, municipal solid waste, and sewage or farm waste. It will produce 420 gallons of liquid fuel per day, which will be comprised of high-cetane synthetic diesel, gasoline and industrial waxes. The electrical output of the facility is dependent on the specific feedstock used.

According to Mike McLaren, W2 Energy's chief executive officer, the system uses plasma assisted gasification to break down the biomass into syngas. The syngas is converted into liquid fuel through a proprietary catalytic system. Electricity is produced through heat recovery. "The gas to liquids reaction gives a tremendous amount of heat," McLaren said. "It is an exothermic chemical reaction." Heat causes water to boil, producing steam that is used to generate electricity.

McLaren said the product is best suited for small-scale users. It's modular and skid mounted, making it easy to transport. According to the statement released by W2 Energy, the company will accept down payments of $500,000 and will help finance the remainder of the purchase price.