Teh Gasifier

The picture's just hilarious.

The story is actually pretty interesting.

Gasification may be key to U.S. ethanol

Gasification is a fairly simple process, based on chemistry developed in the 1920s, said Robert Brown, an Iowa State University chemical engineering professor and director of the school's Office of Biorenewables Programs.

The syngas produced during gasification mixes more readily with chemical catalysts, so it could be more easily turned into other fuels, chemicals and materials. Just add steam and you could produce hydrogen to power a fuel-cell vehicle, Brown said.

Of the six companies awarded U.S.
Department of Energy grants, three will use versions of fermentation technology. But two others will use gasification and one will use a hybrid of both technologies:

• Alico Inc., a LaBelle, Fla.-based agribusiness company, would get up to $33 million to turn yard waste, wood waste and citrus peel into syngas, which would then be converted into ethanol, electricity and hydrogen.

• Range Fuels Inc., of Broomfield, Colo., would get up to $76 million for a plant near Soperton, Ga., to convert timber scraps into syngas to make ethanol and methanol.

• Abengoa Bioenergy, a St. Louis-based division of Spain's Abengoa SA, would receive up to $76 million for an 11.4 million gallons-per-year plant in Colwich, Kan., that would use both biochemical and thermochemical processes to convert corn stalks, wheat straw and switchgrass.

The Energy Department helped demonstrate the viability of gasification in the mid-1990s when it awarded Georgia-based FERCO $9.2 million to help build a power plant running on wood chips. By 2001, the $18 million plant in Burlington, Vt., was generating more than 200 megawatt-hours of electricity a day.

To compete in the marketplace, companies will have to make sure their feedstock supplies are consistent, do more research into catalysts that turn syngas into fuels, and develop better materials to contain the thermochemical reactions, according to the Energy Department.

The syngas would have to be cleaned and conditioned to remove contaminants, which is an expensive task. Energy officials say companies will have to bring down those costs if they're to compete in the market.
[The rest . . .]


  1. I can't stop laughing. Oh, damn. I needed that laugh, too. Thanks.

  2. :) I mean, seriously! What's he sniffin'? Synthetic farts? Liquid Crystal Meth? Artificial New Car Smell? What? What??!


  3. What's he smelling?...the only thing he cares about...it's the fresh scent of MONEY...


  4. D'oh! D'OH!!!

    Money! I shoulda guess'ded that.


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