Biomass-to-liquids (BTL) is a process used to convert waste biomass, for example from the processing of wood, corn, sugar or other agricultural or municipal waste into high quality liquid fuels that are compatible with current fuelling infrastructure.
BTL fuels offer substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and in some cases are able to deliver lifecycle carbon reductions of up to 90% (dependent on the feedstock) compared with conventional fuels.
The BTL process involves two main operations: production of a synthesis gas (syngas), a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, using a gasifier, followed by the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process. The resulting product can then be upgraded to produce a wide range of high quality finished products including ultra-clean diesel and jet fuel that offer better performance than their petroleum-based equivalents.
Because biomass feedstock is not very dense, it is not economic to transport it over long distances to centralised production facilities. Velocys' FT microchannel technology provides a practical, economical and environmentally-friendly option for producing ultra-clean liquid biofuels.
Velocys technology was successfully demonstrated in a BTL environment in 2010 in Güssing, Austria. The microchannel FT reactor successfully demonstrated its robustness to changing syngas conditions.