US DG Fuels mulls biomass-to-fuels plant in Louisiana

Al Greenwood


HOUSTON (ICIS)–DG Fuels has secured an option for land in Louisiana where it may build a $3.1bn biomass-to-fuels plant that will rely on a suite of technologies to bring the site’s carbon emissions close to zero, the state said on Tuesday.

The site covers 3,000 acres (1,200 ha), and it is in St James Parish.

If built, the complex would produce up to 178m gal/year (674m litres/year) of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), the state said. It would remove 1.65m tonnes/year of CO2 from the atmosphere.

DG Fuels is conducting front-end engineering design at the site, which should be completed by August 2023. The company could make a final investment decision (FID) by the end of 2023, the state said.

If DG Fuels pursues the project, construction and commissioning should take three years.

The complex plans to gasify biomass to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide (CO). In addition, it will rely on electrolysers to produce green hydrogen and oxygen from water.

Gasification produces plenty of carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 produced from complex will be combined with the green hydrogen in a catalytic CO2 reforming unit. That unit will convert the CO2 and hydrogen into additional carbon monoxide.

The resulting CO and hydrogen will be processed in a Fischer-Tropsch reactor, which will produce synthetic crude. The synthetic crude will be upgraded to produce SAF.

Byproducts from the upgrader will be fed into a partial oxidation reformer (POX). The POX unit will process the hydrocarbons with the oxygen to produce more carbon monoxide.

The following chart shows how the different units in the complex will work to convert biomass into SAF with almost no carbon emissions.

Source: DG Fuels

“DG Fuels’ baseline process differs from other systems by having little or no environmental emissions either to the atmosphere or waters, while at the same time providing a customer for all forms of agricultural waste to the region’s agricultural community,” according to a statement by Michael Darcy, CEO of DG Fuels.

Thumbnail shows an airplane, which can burn SAF. Image by Shutterstock.


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