The renewable energy center, to be built in Rialto, Calif., will convert biomass, such as yard and tree trimmings, into renewable, ultra-clean biodiesel and renewable electricity. The new facility will use UOP hydroprocessing technology, which converts hydrocarbons into clean fuel products. The center is expected to produce roughly 640 barrels-per-day of liquid fuel and 35 megawatts of base-load electricity, enough to power approximately 30,000 homes each day.
In August 2009, eight airlines signed a multi-year agreement with Rentech to together purchase up to 1.5 million gallons per year of biodiesel from the Rialto Project for use in ground service equipment at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The Rialto Project is scheduled to start up in late 2012.
“Our technology helps Rentech to produce high-quality, ultra-clean transport fuels, meeting all product standards with a near-zero carbon footprint,” said UOP Business Director for Refining Ashis Banerji. “The Rialto Project is an important step in increasing capacity of clean fuels from non-traditional sources.”
“We are pleased to add a well recognized technology provider such as UOP to the suite of technologies to be deployed at our Rialto Project,” said Timothy DeFoe, Project Director for the Rialto Renewable Energy Center. “The Rialto Project continues to advance, with FEED engineering work well under way. The project, anticipated to be the nation’s first commercial biomass gasification facility for the co-production of renewable synthetic fuels and power, will serve as a model for next generation clean energy production.”
In the new unit the Rentech-SilvaGas biomass gasification system will be used to produce synthesis gas, or syngas, from biomass feedstock which is converted to ultra-clean hydrocarbons using Rentech’s proprietary Fischer-Tropsch process and catalyst. The UOP Unionfining™ process and the UOP Unicracking™ process are then used to upgrade the hydrocarbons to ultra-clean jet fuel and biodiesel as well as specialty waxes and chemicals.
Honeywell’s UOP business, a recognized global leader in process technology to convert petroleum feedstocks to fuels and chemicals, has also developed a range of processes to produce high-quality, drop-in green fuels from natural feedstocks. Since 2006, UOP has commercialized processes to convert non-edible natural oils to Honeywell Green Diesel™ and Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™. It has also established Envergent Technologies, a joint venture with Ensyn Corp. which offers pyrolysis technology for the production of renewable heat, power and transportation fuels from biomass sources such as forest and agricultural waste.