WI Biomass Biodiesel Plant to Commission Next Week

John Davis

A biodiesel plant that will make the green fuel from Wisconsin wood biomass is set for commissioning next week.

This article from Biomass Magazine
says the Flambeau River BioFuel LLC’s project will be commissioned using Honeywell Process Solutions’ supplies and automation equipment for what has been called the largest second-generation green diesel plant in the United States. The pilot testing is being done at the Southern Research Institute facility in Durham, N.C.:

“We need to operate [the pilot facility] for 1,000 hours to meet the requirements for a DOE loan guarantee and we need to prove the mass energy balance to make sure we have a project,” [Bob Byrne, president of Flambeau River BioFuels LLC, Park Falls, Wis.] said. “We need to know the economics are there.” An earlier proposal to collocate a cellulosic ethanol plant next to the paper mill at Park Falls was dropped because the economics proved unfavorable as the study progressed. This time, the developers are utilizing gasification and Fischer Tropsch technologies to convert woody biomass into biomass-based diesel and waxes.

The pilot facility at Southern Research Institute will be using Wisconsin wood to fuel a biomass gasifier designed by ThermoChem Recovery International Inc., Baltimore, Md. The syngas produced in the gasifier will be formed into liquids and waxes using catalysts developed by Emerging Fuels Technology, Tulsa, Okla., in a FT reactor. The $257 million plant in the engineering phase for Park Falls will produce 18 MMgy of FT liquids and waxes from 350,000 dry tons of biomass per year, according to Byrne. Depending on the pressures and temperatures of the FT reactor and the activity level of the catalyst, the plant will produce up to 10 MMgy of FT waxes and 8 MMgy FT diesel or 9 MMgy of each. The plant will also be supplying steam to the adjacent paper mill.

Company officials say the wax and steam produced pays the bills, and the biodiesel gives them operating income.

Biodiesel, biomass