James Fraser of "The Energy Blog" wrote an article about BRI Energy's revolutionary bioconversion technology - updating an article he wrote six months ago. In the article he references the delivery of a D.O.E. study "investigating the feasibility of locating BRI facilities that produce ethanol by processing corn stover next to conventional grain alcohol plants." He also references positive commercialization and feasibility studies delivered in late Fall 2005 by Parsons Corporation and Katzen International.
BRI Synthesis Gas Fermentation Process Update
Bioengineering Resources, Inc. (BRI) has been developing a synthesis gas fermentation process whereby biomass can be converted to synthesis gas (consisting primarily of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen) via a high temperature gasification process. Anaerobic bacteria are then used to convert the synthesis gas into ethanol. The BRI process can be used to produce ethanol from cellulosic wastes with high yields and rates. This is made possible because BRI has developed bioreactor systems for fermentation that results in retention times of only a few minutes at atmospheric pressure and less than a minute at elevated pressure. These retention times result in very economical equipment costs.
New developments from a previous post on this process have been:
• Awarding a new $2.4 million contract, the Corn Stover Project, by DOE
• Completion of process design and costing of a standard plant
• Completion of a Technical Evaluation report by Parsons
• Completion of an Emissions Testing Report that is needed for permitting and construction of their first plant.
• At least one plant is expected to begin commercial operations before the end of 2006.
According to Parsons’ Technology Evaluation report, “The ability of BRI to process this material and generate waste streams that are within regulatory limits or easily treatable to regulatory limits can be viewed as an important technological step forward.”