We are focused on the conversion of forestry and agricultural
residues into advanced and environmentally friendly renewable diesel fuel
Daystar Biofuel's cellulose to hydrogen power (CHyP) technology provider has successfully tested over 30 different biomass feedstocks and mixtures to generate drop-in ready renewable gasoline, diesel fuel and aviation fuel. The feedstocks tested include: switchgrass, cotton gin trash, palm fronds, old railroad ties, urban yard waste, municipal solid waste, flooring waste, pine bark, cedar, red oak, white oak, spruce, poplar, wood pellets and many more.
Agricultural and forestry waste or residue biomass is particularly attractive because they are often discarded or burned. Forestry industry waste includes mill residue (sawdust, wood shavings, bark) and roadside residue (the foliage, tree limbs and tops left over after the tree trunk is removed). The current practice in Alberta involves forwarding and piling of these roadside residues and subsequent burning to avoid forest fires. In Western Canada and the Northwestern US, mountain pine beetle kill also creates another source of biomass for the CHyP to biofuel process. An example of agricultural/cereal industry waste is straw.
The Alberta "Biomass to Product Study", Jacobs Consultancy (March 2013), has shown that between 2004 and 2010 the Alberta agriculture sector generated 5.8 to 7 million oven dry tonnes/year (odt) of waste (straw) or 0.54 dry tonnes/hectare. According to this report, most of this agriculture residue (straw from wheat, barley and oats) is not used and much of the residue is simply left in the field to rot. The Jacob's Study also noted that roadside forest residue between 2004 and 2010 equated to 3.8 to 4.2 million oven dry tonnes per year, or 0.25 dry tonnes/hectare. Mill residue is include in this category, however, unlike forest residue, mill residue is currently used by pellet manufacturers (combustion) and landscaping companies (mulch).
At Daystar Biofuels we view waste products from agriculture, forestry and municipalities as a long term, sustainable source of feedstock for the generation of carbon negative biofuels. Each of our facilities will require approximately 55,000 odt/year of waste biomass to produce 18.25 million litres/year of biodiesel.
Daystar Biofuels uses Proton Power Inc's (PPI) patented cellulose to hydrogen power (CHyP) technology to convert biomass waste into renewable diesel fuel that is drop-in ready or can be used to blend traditional diesel fuel.
The founders of PPI, Dr. Sam Weaver and Dan Hensley have a long, 40+ year history of developing successful and innovative technological products from the ground up, including:
- Aircraft brakes for the Boeing 767 and 777, plus military aircrafts
- The first 2800C production furnaces for high strength, high modulus carbon fibers
- Ceramic punch technology and equipment to make Coors the thinnest aluminum beer cans in the world
- Neutron absorbers for nuclear power plants with 87% worldwide market share
- Test and research reactor fuel which provided radioisotopes that served 10 million people annually
Today, Dr. Weaver and Hensley lead an experienced management team with extensive manufacturing experience at Proton Power. The PPI staff of more than 115 employees includes more than 25 talented engineers and scientists.
Proton Power has a strong physical presence with 6 locations, and more than 142,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space on 161 acres of land.
Proton Power's CHyP system provides many advantages over standard energy options:
- A high yield of 65% hydrogen in CHyP syngas leads to low hydrogen cost
- Tars and particulates are virtually eliminated no need for expensive and energy-intensive syngas clean-up process
- Co-products are biochar, a highly effective soil amendment, and water.
- The process is carbon neutral or negative
- The systems are scalable to suit the application
- Cellulosic fuel is renewable and sustainable
- Small footprint facilitates remote locations
- CHyP system can provide heat, electricity, and synthetic fuels
The by-product of the gasification of biomass in the absence of oxygen (high temperature pyrolysis), is biochar,or terra preta, a soil enhancer can hold carbon, boost food security, and increase soil biodiversity, and discourage deforestation. This highly porous carbon-rich soil amendment also helps soils retain valuable elements (nutrients) and water for improved plant and crop utilization. The retention process reduces leaching and runoff of nutrients and makes a substantial reduction in green house and acid rain forming gases that are plaguing the environment (methane, CO2, and nitrous oxides).
Biochar also increases soil tilth, porosity, moisture retention capacity, CEC, soil biology and fertilizer efficiency. This is not an exhaustive list, but provides some very good indications of biochar’s intrinsic value.
Biochar can reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, resulting in reduced emissions of greenhouse gases from fertilizer manufacture. The carbon in biochar resists degradation and can hold carbon in soils for hundreds to thousands of years. Consequently when biochar is buried in the ground as a soil enhancer, the system can become "carbon negative". To lean more about biochar, visit Biochar International
What is the difference between Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel?
Diesel fuel (conventional) is a petroleum distillate rich in paraffinic hydrocarbons. Petrodiesel is produced from fractional distillation of crude oil between 200C (392F) and 350C (662F) at atmospheric pressure, resulting in a mixture of carbon chains that typically contain between 8 and 21 carbon atoms per molecule. Petrodiesel falls under the specifications outlined by ASTM D975 in the United States and EN 590 in Europe.
Biodiesel is produced using a transesterification process, reacting vegetable oils or animal fats catalytically with a short-chained aliphatic alcohol (typically methanol or ethanol). Glycerol is a by-product of this transesterification process. Biodiesel is chemically different from petrodiesel and renewable diesel because it contains oxygen atoms . This leads to different physical properties for biodiesel. Biodiesel is defined under the standard of ASTM D6751 as “a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long-chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats.” Biodiesel is also referred to as FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) or RME (rape seed methyl ester) in Europe. Biodiesel can be used in its pure form, or blended with petrodiesel as an additive. Biodiesel in its pure form is designated B100 where the “100” refers to 100% biodiesel. Biodiesels blended with petrodiesel follow a similar nomenclature. For example, a blended fuel comprised of 20% biodiesel and 80% petrodiesel is called B20.
Renewable Diesel, often called “green diesel” or “second generation diesel,” refers to petrodiesel-like fuels derived from biological sources that are chemically not esters and thus distinct from biodiesel. Renewable diesel is chemically the same as petrodiesel, but it is made of recently living biomass. Renewable diesel also refers to all diesel fuels derived from biomass that meet the standards of ASTM D975 and are not monoalkyl esters.
Compared to conventional diesel fuel, renewable diesel has less NOx emissions, lower particulate emissions, lower carbon monoxide emissions and significantly lower green house gas (GHG) carbon intensity.