The ENTRADE Group to acquire Agnion Energy

By Erin Voegele | June 03, 2013

The Germany-based ENTRADE Group has announced it has reached an agreement to acquire all shares of Agnion Energy Inc. from its existing owners, which includes shares held by Waste Management and venture capital companies Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Wellington Partners, and Munich Venture Partners. According to information released by the ENTRADE Group, these organizations are withdrawing their investment from the gasification company.

Agnion Energy, also based in Germany, is a supplier of wood gasification technology. Information released by the companies specifies its core technology was developed 10 years ago at the Technical University of Munich. The process was refined as the Heatpipe-Reformer technology by Agnion Energy and Jürgen Karl, a professor of energy process engineering at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, along with his research team.

According to the ENTRADE Group, Waste Management and the three venture capital companies previously invested €35 million ($45.76 million) in the start-up company. Waste Management announced its investment in the company in May 2011. At that time, Waste Management noted that Agnion’s allothermal gasification technology could convert solid biomass into a syngas with exceptionally high heating value. The purchase price the ENTRADE Group has paid for the company has not been disclosed.

A description of the technology published to Agnion Energy’s website explains that the process features a fluidized bed gasifier that incorporates heat pipes filled with a working fluid, which allows for efficient heat input. According to the company, these heat pipes make it possible to transmit the necessary heat fluxes with a low temperature gradient and high specific performance from the combustion chamber to the reformer.  

“For the first time the technology developed by Agnion enables biomethane to be generated from solid biomass and then to be fed into the natural gas grid,” said Julien Uhlig, CEO of ENTRADE Energiesysteme AG. “We expect it to offer us technology transfer and synergies with our own production engineering for the de-central generation of electricity and heating on the basis of biomass, selected raw materials and waste.”