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July 10, 2013

Microchannel F-T reactor technology chosen for a proposed BTL project in Oregon

Gerald Ondrey

The Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) microchannel-reactor technology developed by the Oxford Catalysts Group (Abingdon, U.K.; www.oxfordcatalysts.com) and marketed under the brand name Velocys (www.velocys.com), has been selected for use in the design and possible construction of a commercial biomass-to-liquids (BTL) plant in the U.S. The proposed BTL facility, led by Red Rock Biofuels, a subsidiary of the Fort Collins, Colorado, U.S.-based company IR1 Group LLC, will be located in Oregon. The plant will be designed to convert around 170,000 ton/yr of forestry derived biomass into approximately 1,100 bbl/d of liquid transportation fuels.

The Red Rock Biofuels BTL project was recently awarded a $4.1 million grant from the U.S. Dept. 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.

 

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