Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Hydrocarbons
Clean Technology 2008

Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Hydrocarbons

R.D. Cortright
Virent Energy Systems, US

biogasoline, aqueous phase reforming

Virent Energy Systems, Inc.ís patented Aqueous-Phase Reforming (BioFormingTM ) process enables the economical and energy efficient use of plant based sugars to generate the many hydrocarbon products that drive the world economy. Virentís patented catalytic process provides an unconventional pathway to generate proven liquid fuels such as gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel from renewable biomass-derived feedstocks. This new category of biofuels can be used and distributed like conventional fuels and, based on present feedstock costs, will compete at current price levels. Utilizing a simple reactor system and operating at relatively low temperatures and pressures, the BioForming process reforms carbohydrates to hydrocarbons. By selecting different catalysts and processing conditions, various types of sugars can be reliably converted into hydrocarbon fuels or chemicals. The technology platform is simple and highly thermal efficient. Once it is operating, no additional energy inputs are needed. This thermal efficiency, combined with lower capital costs compared with multi-stage production processes, and its efficient use of plentiful, inexpensive cellulosic feedstocks, make the BioForming platform a truly cost-effective solution. Together, these unique characteristics position the BioForming platform as the key enabling technology for renewable hydrocarbon production.