UOP, DOE to produce biofuel from CO2

By Kris Bevill
Posted March 12, 2009, at 10:50 CNT

UOP LLC, a division of Honeywell International Inc. focused on specialty materials production and technology processes, is advancing its efforts to develop carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technologies through a demonstration project at its Hopewell, Va., caprolactam production site. The project was recently awarded a $1.5 million cooperative agreement from the U.S. DOE and will be managed by the DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory. UOP will design equipment to capture CO2 from the facility's exhaust stacks, which will then be delivered to a pond near the plant where New Zealand-based Aquaflow Bionomic Corp. will demonstrate its technology to utilize CO2 for algae cultivation to create algal oil for biofuel production. The residual algae waste will be converted through a rapid thermal processing technology devised by Envergent Technologies, a joint venture between UOP and Ensyn Corp. to produce pyrolysis oil, which can be burned for energy production,

"This project will demonstrate integrated concepts and technologies that can help reduce GHG emissions while showing the viability of new sources of energy," Jennifer Holmgren, UOP renewable energy and chemicals vice president, said. "Integrated approaches such as these are our best hopes for creating economically sustainable renewable energy solutions."

Aquaflow director Nick Gerritsen said the project offers his company, which has worked primarily in the biofuels industry, a chance to illustrate the diversity of its technology. "This brings through the versatility and configurability of the Aquaflow system � we can apply the technology in multiple applications and incorporate other business or economic drivers," he said. "We want to try to establish a platform solution that has many potential applications - the aim being to achieve some sort of Google effect, as the world needs a solution in the near term."

Evan Van Hook, Honeywell's vice president of environment, health and safety, said the selection of the Hopewell site for the project is part of the company's continuous efforts to improve its global efficiency and sustainability efforts. The project also supports UOP's efforts to develop a range of process technologies for capturing CO2 for use in alternative fuels production.

SOURCE: Industrial GHG Solutions