8,  Renewable Biofuels
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Coskata’s technology re-emerges as Synata Bio

January 24, 2016 |
In Illinois, the technology formerly belonging to Coskata has re-merged as the newly-minted Synata Bio, which was formed last year.

Synata filed a Red D form with the Securities & Exchange Commission, detailing a $10 million investment, which sources have identified as coming from True North Venture Partners. Sure enough, True North partners Matthew Ahearn and Steve Kloos are listed as directors of the firm, along with long-time industry scientific guru Jay Kouba, last himself seen running another natgas-oriented business, Trelys, which itself has attracted investment from ARCH Venture Partners and FirstGreen Partners. Kouba has also had roles with Amoco, BP, Metabolix, Virent, Tetravitae, and Siluria.  Kloos is currently serving as Synata’s President.

Coskata had been focused, via gas fermentation, on converting natural gas to fuels. We suspect that, given low oil prices, Synata Bio may steer that technology towards attractive opportunities in chemicals. Possibly acetic acid, propanol or n-butanol.

The filing lists the company address as “4575 Weaver Parkway, Suite 100, Warrenville, Il, Illinois, 60555”, which long-time observers will recognize as the former Coskata headquarters. Sources have also told The Digest the as much as “half of the old Coskata scientific staff” have been hired on by Synata Bio to continue the company’s research. Sources also indicated that Synata acquired the Coskata technology.


1, It is important to realize that companies have commercialized modular technology for capturing CO2 directly from air (DAC):
(Climeworks AG, Switzerland; Carbon Engineering,
Canada; Skytree, Netherlands),
2, generating H2 electrochemically from H2O:
(Siemens AG, Germany; Hydrogenics, Canada;
Sunfire GmbH, Germany; Proton On Site, USA)
3, or even synthesis gas by further conversion of H2 with CO2, producing a mixture of H2 and CO by co-electrolysis of H2O and CO2:
Sunfire GmbH, Germany),
4, and producing hydrocarbon or oxygenated fuels from CO2 and H2 or synthesis gas catalytically:
Germany; Gensoric GmbH, Germany; Velocys, USA; Primus Green Energy, USA; Carbon Engineering, Canada; Hydrogenics,
Canada; Carbon Recycling International, Iceland).


Biosynfuel Basics pdf.

Welcome to the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) Publication and Product Library. 
This Library will allow you to find publications and products provided by the Office specifically for our constituents. 


Who is BETO?    BETO is located at 2.804.00 on this website's HTML editor. This website is on the outside looking in.

Syngas-to-Liquids (GTL) Technologies


8a Renewable E85 BioEthanol                 8b Renewable M70 BioMethanol                8c Renewable BioJet & BioDiesel                8d Green Hydrogen


Where is all that renewable biofeedstock going to come from?     2016_billion_ton_report_12.2.16_0.pdf   (448 pages)

Good casual overview: 



The world produces and consumes about 100 million barrels of oil per day - or about 36,500 million (36.5 billion) barrels of oil per year. Since the standard 42 gallon barrel of oil weighs 275 pounds - or about 0.138 tons (275lbs per barrel / 2000lbs per ton = 0.138tons per barrel), this means the world is burning about 5 billion tons of oil per year (36.5 billion barrels * 0.138 tons/barrel).

The United States consumes about 20 million barrels of oil per day - or about 7.3 billion barrels of oil per year - or about 1 billion tons of oil per year. So the report above has us covered.

(As always, the Devil is in the details.)

And the above is just from tree trimmings, etc. Also "Metropolitan Solid Waste or MSW", better known as city garbage, city and septic tank sewage, feedlot agricultural waste, "Black Liquor" boiler fuel from paper mills (they can use the tiny nuclear reactors instead for heat and electricity). Since we're running on nuclear heat, in case we have too much water in the plasma torch mix, drying things out without too much cost or emissions should be feasible.    [PDF] Alter NRG Plasma Gasification:  Their Video: 

Rule of thumb: a million tonnes of LNG produces about 4 terawatt hours in a modern electricity plant. A 1,000 MWe nuclear plant produces ~8TWh/yr @ 91% CF. - Rod Adams.




Abstract  - from  Biomass Compositional Analysis for Conversion to Renewable Fuels and Chemicals

As the world continues to deplete its nonrenewable resources, there has begun a shift toward using renewable materials for the production of fuels and chemicals. Terrestrial biomass, as well as municipal solid wastes, provides renewable feedstocks for fuel and chemical production. However, one of the major challenges to using biomass as a feedstock for fuel and chemical production is the great amount of innate variability between different biomass types and within individual biomass species. This inconsistency arises from varied growth and harvesting conditions and presents challenges for conversion processes, which frequently require physically and chemically uniform materials. This chapter will examine intrinsic biomass compositional characteristics including cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, extractives/volatiles, and ash for a wide array of biomass types.

Additionally, extrinsic properties, such as moisture content and particle grind size, will be examined for their effect on biomass conversion to fuels using four major conversion processes: direct combustion, pyrolysis, hydrothermal liquefaction, and fermentation.

A brief discussion on recent research for the production of building block chemicals from biomass will also be presented.

Keywords: biomass, composition, variability, renewable, fuels, chemicals.


Abstract   -  from BIOMASS PYROLYSIS FOR CHEMICALS  --  Paulus Johannes de Wild

The problems that are associated with the use of fossil fuels demand a transition to renewable sources for energy and materials. Biomass is a natural treasure for chemicalsthat up to now are made from fossil resources. Unfortunately, the heterogeneity and complexity of biomass still preclude exploitation of its full potential. New technologies for economical valorisation of biomass are under development, but cannot yet compete with petrochemical processes. However, rising prices of fossil resources, inevitably will lead to replacement of oil refineries with biorefineries. A biorefinery uses various types of biomass feedstocks that are processed via different technologies into heat, power and various products. The biorefinery is self sustainable with respect to heat and power and puts no burden on the environment. Thermochemical processes such as fast pyrolysis can play an important role in biorefineries. Within the scope of biomass pyrolysis as a renewable option to produce chemicals this chapter presents a review of some pyrolysis-based technologies that are potential candidates and that form the starting point for the work that is described in this thesis.





(Left) Carbon Dioxide produced per million British Thermal Units (BTU) of heat.                       (Right) Combustion Fuel Candidates         

How to think about replacing the fossil fuels that have served mankind so well for so long?

Job #1: Replace coal with nuclear. (The worst at 206 pounds of CO2 per million BTU.)
Job #2: Replace oil with renewable biosynthetic combustion fuels. (161 pounds of CO2 per million BTU.)
Job #3: Replace natural gas with biosynthetic hydrogen heating gas. (117 pounds of CO2 per million BTU.)

As you can see from above, wood (cellulose) is really loaded with carbon-neutral carbon that can make a lot of biosynthetic liquid fuel per BTU. This is why your author selected the electrically powered plasma gasification column instead of the autothermal incinerating gasifiers.  Captured CO2 in cellulose is too damn valuable to burn.


Replacing coal with nuclear to make electricity is the easy part.

Replacing oil and heating gas with CO2-neutral biosynthetic fuels is the hard part. How much will we need to make?

We will need about 8,000 or so Renewable Biosynfuel Factory facilities like the one this website is talking about to replace coal (with nuclear) and oil (with Biofuels). This website's facility is limited by it's plasma torch column to gasifying a maximum of 200 tons of renewable biomass per day. It has to share it's 500 megaWatt(e) nuclear electricity generator with a thermochemical hydrogen generator and whatever electrical and thermal energy the catalytic biosynfuel refinery requires along with the electricity demand of the park's nearby cities.

There is a diversity factor over the plant's 24 hour/7day per week operating cycle that may make predictable peak energies available:

(Above) A ThorCon dual reactor installation is good for 250 + 250 megaWatts maximum. Not all that big when you consider the heat load presented by
chemical water splitting and energy needed to control catalytic hydrocarbon molecule joining. Fortunately, both hydrogen and oxygen can be stored for later use.

Looks like making Biofuels might be a night job for the Renewable Biosynfuel Factory's Power Plant.

INFRA and Greenway to partner on GTL plants

Greenway Technologies Inc. and INFRA Technology LLC, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Greenway Innovative Energy (GIE), have signed a non-exclusive Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly design and deliver Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) plants combining their respective proprietary technologies: INFRA’s xtl and GIE’s G-Reformer.

INFRA Technology group has developed and patented a proprietary Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) technology (INFRA.xtl), based on the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis process, for the production of light synthetic oil—which is close to a product, characterized by Shultz-Flory alpha of 0.77—and clean liquid synthetic transportation fuels from natural and associated gas, as well as from biomass and other fossil fuels (XTL).

INFRA has commissioned its own production of the proprietary Fischer-Tropsch catalysts. Production capacity is up to 30 tons per year. 

GIE has developed and patented a transportable, scalable and economic converter for synthesis gas generation needed to feed an F-T reactor called the G-Reformer.

In addition to these necessary components, building GTL plants requires the leadership and financial discipline of an Engineering Procurement Contractor (EPC) to deliver on-time and on-budget build programs. GIE has been working with Audubon Engineering for several years and named the company its EPC firm in 2018.

The agreement addresses the need to process various natural gas streams into liquid fuels. There are worldwide initiatives underway to reduce the amount of flared and vented gases which waste valuable natural resources and contribute to CO2 emissions.

By combining the capabilities of both companies, the time to deploy plants capable of processing flared or vented gas will be reduced. GTL systems from the companies can also be used to process coal and biomass assets providing the ability to convert these natural gas streams into useable products including diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. These fuels, derived from natural gas, will be incrementally cleaner than similar petroleum-based fuels.

Currently, INFRA’s team is performing start-up operations on a 100 bpd demonstration plant (M100) located in Wharton, Texas. The company’s plant will convert natural gas to SynCrude, with components of diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel. This demonstration plant has a modular design that will allow integration of other components for testing, such as the G-Reformer technology from GIE, and the catalysts that produce varying fractional amounts of end-product for sale.

This plant also provides the scalable design baseline for larger plants and serves as an economic model for the technology, process, and design proof.



With respect to aromatics, there is no lower limit for petroleum fuels, yet blends with synthetic fuels must have aromatic concentrations between 8 and 25%, to ensure that seal swelling occurs. If the lower limit of aromatics could be reduced and H/C ratio increased, lower (non-volatile) particulate matter emissions (and smoke), and increased heat release (per unit fuel volume) should result. In addition, increased thermal stability of fuels will increase the ability to recover more energy in the fuel, increase the cycle efficiency, as well as decrease operational maintenance costs, all of which will enhance the large-scale introduction of new fuels and increased cycle efficiency.


·        Kalghatgi, G., Levinsky, H., & Colket, M. (2018) “Future transportation fuels.” Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 69, 103–105. doi: 10.1016/j.pecs.2018.06.003





Footnotes & Links

This website is still a draft. The candidate document's footnote numbers go with a private database. Copy the document's title and submit it to Google. The document may still be posted on the Internet. 


The low quantity of fossil fuel required to produce renewable ethanol (and thus reduce fossil GHG emissions) is due largely to three key factors.

First is the yield of renewable biomass per acre. Current corn-grain yields are about 4.5 tons/acre. Starch is 66% by weight, yielding 3 tons to produce 416 gal of ethanol, compared to an experimental yield of 10 dry tons of biomass/acre for switchgrass hybrids in research environments (10 dry tons at a future yield of 80 gal/ton = 800 gal ethanol). Use of corn grain, the remaining solids (distillers’ dried grains), and stover could yield ethanol at roughly 700 gal/acre. Current yield for nonenergy-crop biomass resources is about 5 dry tons/acre and roughly 65 gal/ton. The goal for energy crops is 10 tons/acre at 80 to 100 gal/ton during implementation.

Second, perennial biomass crops will take far less energy to plant and cultivate and will require less nutrient, herbicide, and fertilizer.

Third, biomass contains lignin and other recalcitrant residues that can be burned to produce heat or electricity consumed by the ethanol-production process.




News Notes