PyroReactors transform hydrocarbon waste to high quality bioenergy
BioFuels or BioWasted?
Economic, sustainability & performance challenges of current biofuel approaches
There is a global need to for renewable, carbon-neutral fuels that are compatible with existing combustion engines and fueling infrastructure. Energy crops, such as corn and canola have been traditionally used to produce biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. The potential of these legacy biofuels has plateaued due to food crop competition, limited infrastructure & compatibility, lower energy content and reliance on varying mandates & subsidies. Hydrocarbon waste is ideal for producing sustainable carbon-neutral biofuels, since it is in abundance, has little competing value, and requires little direct energy inputs to harvest. Petajoules of energy
potential and millions of barrels of bio-oil are wasted every day as hydrocarbon waste is disposed of at great cost and energy. Partial utilization of available hydrocarbon waste from animal manures, wastewater sludge, crop silage, forest residues, and recycled plastics, has the potential to offset 3-10% of the US energy demands. However, waste's complex chemistry makes conversion a challenging endeavor, which traditional approaches have not been able to solve.
Lower conversion temperatures and pressures can mitigate the scaling and economic challenges but do so at the expense of product quality and yield. Supercritical conversions can improve the product quality/yield, but the scaling challenges become so severe, these conversions were only done in research labs and universities; until now..
Going Green Made Easy
Redefining how bioenergy is perceived, produced, and consumed
PyroBOil utilizes the PyroReactor and PyroHeater technologies to evolve advanced biofuel technology out of research labs by facilitating effective supercritical water reactions. Conversion conditions can be Hydrothermal, or well into the supercritical domain, exceeding 500°C and 500 atm, ensuring economic, large scale production of highest quality biofuels. Beyond the favorable capital costs of leveraging oil well technology, the unique dynamics of 1000’s of feet of flow within the reactor utilize the laws of physics to maximize efficiency, rather than expending energy and capital fighting them.
Supplementary hydrostatic pressure, reduces energy input and mitigates pumping challenges of viscous high solids feeds at high flow rates
The long heat-transfer regions provide efficient heat exchange, eliminating expensive, complex, and custom heat exchangers
Gradual temperature/pressure changes along with flow induced mixing, aids homogeneity delivering useful reactor dynamics
Subsurface land is an excellent insulator with natural
Furthermore, byproducts will be leveraged to maximize societal impacts by integrating diverse sustainable energy throughout the complex energy/resource nexus.
Biohydrogen can be as sold to various industrial/oil/advanced technologies, almost doubling margins from bio-oil alone
Char rich in Nitrogen, Phosphorous & Potassium will be repurposed as fertilizer in agricultural regions, freeing up manure supplies
Methane can be combusted onsite, offsetting electricity requirements
Aqueous reactor balance is suitable for irrigation/industrial consumption after appropriate treatment
Rather than iteratively larger, astronomically expensive centralized plants PyroBOil’s commercialization strategy virtually eliminates scaling risks by modularly integrating the same proven and orders of magnitude cheaper design onsite or within close proximity to the feed sources. Individual PyroBOil reactors, producing 1000-5000 bbl/day, will be optimized for a wide range of local biowaste supplies, and the PyroBOil approach utilizes all forms of biowaste, diversifies supply chains, reduces transportation costs, while spreading employment and benefits throughout the United States.
For widespread adoption, biofuels must be equivalent to petroleum fuels in cost, performance, reliability, and compatibility. Rather than investing in unknown, expensive, and complex technologies to create drop-in biofuels to compete against fossil fuels, the PyroBOil approach integrates with them. Since oil companies have invested trillions over the last 100 years perfecting the refinement and distribution of fuels, crude oil blending and co-processing is the ideal solution. PyroBOil's high efficiency and low capital result in a $20-$40/bbl COGS, allowing for a discount to crude as needed to catalyze these needed alliances. A low risk blend of 1-5 wt% minimizes risks of fuel deficiencies, while refinery outputs to existing fueling infrastructure ensures final fuel performance and reliability. Ultimately, PyroBOil is likely to be another silent blend that comprises final fuels; meaning the consumer puts the same fuel in their existing vehicle - the ultimate way to ensure widespread adoption
PyroBOil will unleash a vast new economic sector based off Carbon-neutral renewable resources that have equivalent cost and performance to petroleum fuels. Not only will PyroBOil fulfill global, federal (RFS 2022) and local (CA LCFS) renewable commitments, but free market forces will drive demand and success without the need for expensive added subsidies or regulatory mandates
Untapping a highly modular biogas opportunity
Hundreds of thousands agricultural operations produce ~2 billion tons of manure/yr and 15,000 WasteWater Treatment Plants (WWTP), process ~800 million barrels of sewage/day. Manure and sewage sludge are in a prime state for digestion, in fact many current treatments utilize it to remove the smell and breakdown hydrocarbons. However, recovering biogas from digestion is far more complex. Of the 15,000 WWTPs, only ~8% of them incorporate anaerobic digesters, ~50% of which recover their biogas.
Current thermophilic anaerobic digesters require large surface containers generally modeled after large oil storage tanks. To keep the living micro-organisms, which do the “digesting” healthy, requires keeping the temperature in a “goldilocks” zone generally between 100-165°F. Adding and removing 1 million gallons/day from a 9-million-gallon tank, while maintaining 105-115°F with seasonal variations between 30-90°F, is no trivial task. Considerably colder feedstocks are problematic, insulation provides limited benefit and burying large tanks introduces new problems: maintenance, cleaning, updating, higher cost etc.
PyroDigest leverages the PyroHeater and PyroReactor technologies to transform biogas production with a highly modular minimalistic capital approach. A shallow, < 1000 ft deep PyroReactor, has a much lower cost than building a large digester storage tank (particularly when site preparation, component delivery, concrete, sealing membrane, assembly, plumbing, and insulation is factored in). PyroDigest will be efficiently and homogenously heated with the PyroHeater keeping the thermophilic microbes at ideal temperature, productive and healthy, while holding solids in suspension, minimizing sludge formation and maximizing microbial access. Furthermore, subterrestrial earth isolates the system from changes in ambient conditions, has natural insulating properties, and a positive geothermal gradient.
As a wellbore reactor, PyroDigest has a minimal surface footprint and will be co-located and integrated at existing WWTPs and large livestock operations, expanding their operations into a previously unavailable 3rd dimension. Furthermore, PyroDigest’s fast commissioning, ultra-low capital expense & operating efficiencies gives a short ROI making it a feasible investment for even the smallest entities. Local communities across the country will triply benefit, first from the installation jobs, second from the reduced pollutants and third from transforming a liability to an asset, by recovering the currently wasted terawatts of energy.