The FT microchannel reactor technology developed by the Oxford Catalysts Group and marketed under the brand name Velocys, has been selected for use in the design and possible construction of a commercial Biomass-to-Liquids (BTL) plant in the USA.
The proposed BTL facility, led by Red Rock Biofuels, a subsidiary of the Fort Collins, Colorado, US-based company IR1 Group LLC, will be located in Oregon.
The plant will be designed to convert around 170,000 tons per year of forestry derived biomass into approximately 1,100 barrels per day (bpd) of liquid transportation fuels.
The Red Rock Biofuels BTL project was recently awarded a $4.1 million grant from the US Department of Defense (under the Defense Production Act Title III Advanced Drop-in Biofuel Production Project) to help to fund a detailed engineering and design study for the facility.
The preliminary engineering is complete. Now, with the aid of this grant, Red Rock Biofuels is expected to progress through detailed engineering and design over the course of nine months.
Following successful completion of the detailed design phase, IR1 Group will have an opportunity to apply for a further grant of up to $70 million to support construction of the proposed plant, and expects to do so.
Roy Lipski, CEO of Oxford Catalysts Group, said: “We are pleased to have our technology selected once again, this time for a promising opportunity in the growing area of Biomass-to-Liquids. We’re also excited by the potential for this project to access $70 million of government funding to support early adoption of a synthetic fuels plant.”
Terry Kulesa, CEO of IR1 Group, said: “The choice of Velocys FT was easy. No other FT technology offered the combination of high performance and efficiency at a scale appropriate for a BTL facility. We’re pleased to be working with the Group on this pioneering project.”