Maverick Synfuels, PPE to produce methane-to-methanol plants

By Maverick Synfuels | March 13, 2014

Maverick Synfuels, a leader in alternative fuels and chemicals production technology, and Plant Process Equipment Inc., a global energy engineering and fabrication company, have formed a partnership to manufacture and sell small-scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) methanol plants. These skid-mounted modular plants can be rapidly deployed and are capable of producing between 3,000 – 10,000 gallons per day of ultra-clean synthetic fuels and chemicals from natural gas or methane-rich “waste gas.” Maverick has the exclusive rights to sell and deploy these factory-built plants that convert potent greenhouse gases into guaranteed quantities of methanol.

Now, for the first time, waste gas producers have a financially attractive alternative to flaring or generating electricity. Waste gas sites are abundant worldwide as a source of low-cost methane, albeit in locations remote from markets or pipelines. Only a small percentage of these sites use the methane or biogas to produce energy. Despite government subsidies, economics of electricity production at these locations remain challenging.

Methane-rich waste gas originates from numerous sources including oil and gas fields (associated or flare gas), landfills, wastewater treatment plants and anaerobic digesters associated with agricultural waste disposal. The production of several thousands of gallons a day of locally-usable methanol or transportation fuels is possible using Maverick's proprietary technology in skid-mounted plants co-located at these gas sources.

Converting methane gas to methanol liquid is one component of Maverick’s "spoke and hub" distributed production strategy that builds on Maverick’s patented Olefinity technology. Methanol produced at small-scale GTL plants ("spokes") located at the waste gas source is easily transportable to larger "hub" facilities, where it can be converted to higher value products such as clean transportation fuels, and specialty chemicals like propylene, using Maverick’s olefins based processes. This approach significantly reduces capital requirements for converting low-value feedstocks such as waste methane into higher value products.

"Maverick provides the first economically viable solution for converting waste gas methane into considerably higher value products," said Sam Yenne, CEO of Maverick. "In addition, the combination of skid-mounted and small footprint simplifies deployment into the remote regions where many of these waste gas sources reside. Small-scale fuel and chemical production and lower capital requirements have aligned to produce a cost competitive and cleaner alternative to crude oil derived products."

"PPE and Maverick have solved the puzzle of low-cost methanol production with our small-scale GTL platform," said Jeff Harrison, chief engineering officer of Maverick Synfuels. "This partnership accelerates the deployment of Maverick's commercialization strategy and economic pathway to revenue."

"Maverick's technology and deployment strategy is unique in the industry," said Ken Reynaud, senior vice president of PPE. "This partnership will expand the market opportunities for PPE through Maverick's comprehensive approach."

The first methanol plant from the PPE/Maverick partnership is destined for deployment at a large-scale dairy in the upper Midwest where Maverick will leverage the synergies between three existing anaerobic digesters. "A proven supply of low-cost biogas combined with the transportation logistics and operational synergies gives Maverick a substantial economic advantage in this market," said Harrison.