Clear The Air Energy Blog Rotating Header Image

Municipal Solid Waste and urban residues

Feedstocks in Focus for April 1: Municipal Solid Waste and urban residues

Also known as “Urban waste”, it’s nasty, here, inevitable and aggregated. The feedstocks are available at fixed, affordable prices and in long-term supply contracts from credit-worthy entities. Everyone loves the idea. So, when will we have it?

The Advanced Bioeconomy Feedstocks Conference, in New Orleans this June 9-10, 2015, organized by The Digest, will have a full session-length program on municpal solid waste and urban residues.

Where are some of the projects that might be advanced in the future??

In Maine, the University of Maine has been hired by a consortium of 187 towns and their MSW streams to evaluate whether Fiberight’s technology could be a good option for the state’s waste. The company is producing its Trashanol at a facility in Lawrenceville, Virginia. Currently the consortium’s waste is processed by a waste-to-energy plant in Orrington it partially owns but will not likely be profitable after 2018 when its current power offtake agreement expires.

In Thailand, Phuket’s Provincial Administration Organization is seeking $22.6 million to build a waste-to-biofuel facility that would use the entire island’s MSW as feedstock. Funding for the project will be sought from the national Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

In Canada, Iris Solutions, Plenary Harvest Surrey and Urbaser S.A. have been shortlisted from an original group of 11 companies to invest in, build and operate the city of Surrey’s $60 million residential kitchen and yard waste into renewable fuel project. The fuel is destined to power the city’s garbage collection vehicles.

In Texas, former Terrabon CTO Cesar Granda told the Digest: “We are in the early stages of a new company, Earth Energy Renewables, which bought out all the Terrabon assets, data and IP from the bankruptcy and kept a few of the key employers in payroll . Our focus is to ramp up with chemicals first producing acids and ketones, before we move on to fuels again, which we are still enthusiastic about. We are in fund raising mode at the moment, but research and progress is continuing at the lab and pilot plant level.” As of last year, EER had exceeded its goal of producing 70 gallons of renewable gasoline per ton of MSW using its patented acid fermentation technology.

Waste to Fuels Monsters. Today, Solena and INEOS Bio.


INEOS Bio announced that its Indian River BioEnergy Center at Vero Beach is now producing cellulosic ethanol at commercial scale — and registered its first RINs from that production earlier this year.

This is the first commercial-scale production in the world using INEOS Bio’s breakthrough gasification and fermentation technology for conversion of biomass waste into bioethanol and renewable power.

The Center cost more than $130 million and created more than 400 direct construction, engineering and manufacturing jobs during its development. The project sourced more than 90% of the equipment from U.S. manufacturers, creating or retaining jobs in more than 10 states. The Center has 65 full- time employees and provides $4 million annually in payroll to the local community.

As of last September, the company updated its progress as follows:

“INEOS Bio’s Vero Beach facility has recently completed a major turn-around that included upgrades to the technology as well as completion of annual safety inspections. We are now bringing the facility back on-line,” said Nigel Falcon, Site Director. “In addition we will soon finish installation of equipment that will be used to remove impurities from one of our process streams that have been negatively impacting operations. This equipment will be commissioned and brought online over the remainder of the year.”

We’ve spent the last year investigating and testing options for improving the operation of the facility, both at the Center as well as at our pilot facility in Fayetteville Arkansas. We decided on the optimum path forward and are in the final stages of implementing the required changes,” Falcon continued. “Over the next six months, we will focus on implementing these upgrades at the Center as we look to continue to build its on-stream performance and reliability.”

Concluded Falcon, “We fully expected to encounter new challenges as we scaled up this exciting new technology. We’ve taken the time to develop solutions that will enable reliable production of high quality bioethanol. The efforts moving forward will continue to focus on safe operations, optimizing the technology, and de-bottlenecking the plant to achieve full production capacity.”

Solena Fuels

Solena’s Integrated Biomass-Gas to Liquid “IBGTL” solution is based on a Fischer-Tropsch platform coupled with Solena’s proprietary high temperature plasma gasification technology to produce sustainable fuels from low carbon-bearing organic waste. Solena has developed best-of-breed relationships with world-leading technology and engineering companies to implement its IBGTL solution worldwide. As it addresses the substantial and rapidly growing demand for sustainable fuels at market prices for petroleum based fuels, Solena is considered a highly attractive solution and market leader in the sustainable synthetic fuels industry.

A unique characteristic of the IBGTL process is that it can handle a wide variety of feedstock and thus is completely “fuel flexible”. Unlike standard gasification technologies, Solena’s IBGTL process utilizes a powerful and independent heat source – plasma torches – and can thus accommodate varying heterogeneous feedstock. The company has several projects in development in India (highlighted above), and with Lufthansa, Qantas and Turkish Airlines.

The British Airways project. In 2010, British Airways announced its GreenSky London project — and in November 2012 the airline announced its binding offtake and investment commitment to GreenSky London. GreenSky London will transform tonnes of municipal waste – normally sent to landfills – into Bio-SPK, Green FT Diesel and Green FT Naphtha.

The chosen location for this innovative project is the Thames Enterprise Park, part of the site of the former Coryton oil refinery in Thurrock, Essex. The site has excellent transport links and existing fuel storage facilities. One thousand construction workers will be hired to build the facility which is due to be completed in 2017, creating up to 150 permanent jobs.

This ground-breaking fuel project is set to revolutionise the production of sustainable aviation fuel. Approximately 575,000 tonnes of post-recycled waste, normally destined for landfill or incineration, will instead be converted into 120,000 tonnes of clean burning liquid fuels using Solena’s innovative integrated technology. British Airways has made a long-term commitment to purchase all 50,000 tonnes per annum of the jet fuel produced at market competitive rates.

In November 2013, Solena Fuels is in discussions with city authorities in Chennai to use the city’s 5,000 tons of MSW per day to produce 120 million liters of aviation biofuel and 45 million liters of diesel per year. The facility would cost $450 million to build with an eight year ROI. Solena’s technology is syngas-based using plasma reactors to treat the feedstock.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>