State of Pennsylvania Provides $175,000 for Feasibility Study on Integrated Coal-Biomass to Liquids® Plant
First of its kind facility in the nation would incorporate algae to boost fuel production and reduce CO2 emissions
Boulder, Colorado – May 11, 2010 – The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Financing
Authority, an independent state agency, today approved a $175,000 grant to fund a
feasibility study to determine where in Pennsylvania the nation’s first integrated Coal-
Biomass to Liquids (CBTL) plant could be built.
Carbon Cycle Technology Alliance partners A2BE Carbon Capture LLC and Accelergy
Corporation are leading the project, with the assistance of Raytheon Company. The
announcement comes on the heels of Accelergy’s collaboration with the United States Air
Force, which is currently conducting tests on the Company’s fuels for application as 100
percent non-petroleum based synthetic jet fuel.
With the highly innovative CBTL technology, it is possible to produce coal+algae based
fuels that can compete with petroleum fuels. The key is a process fine-tuned at
ExxonMobil in the mid-1990s, at a cost of $1 billion, that converts coal or plant matter
directly into a liquid fuel. Accelergy has exclusively licensed this conversion technology
and created an integrated refinery platform by licensing other critical technology,
including components from A2BE Carbon Capture and the Energy & Environmental
Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota.
With CBTL, CO2 from the coal conversion process is recycled into additional fuel
production utilizing A2BE’s algae cultivation and harvesting technology in an integrated
closed-loop system. The CBTL process with algae can deliver a wide range of premium
synthetic fuels (gasoline, diesel, and commercial and military jet fuels) with high overall
thermal efficiency and a CO2 footprint 20% below comparable petroleum refining.
“Accelergy and the Carbon Cycle Technology Alliance are proving that the cleaner fuels of
tomorrow are actually possible today,” said Tim Vail, CEO of Accelergy. “You can be
profitable in the $50-to-$60-a-barrel range. In the crude oil environment we have today,
you have the opportunity to create a very favorable business,” added Vail, extrapolating
from the mathematical models devised by Exxon in the ’90s.
Representatives from the three companies visited Pennsylvania multiple times to speak
with House of Representatives leadership and other state government officials about new
technology for the proposed fuel plant.
State Rep. David R. Kessler, who worked to bring the project to Pennsylvania, said the
plant would be the first of its kind in the nation and represents an emerging clean-fuels
technology. “Pennsylvania is a perfect site for this technology. The state is home to
extensive coal deposits, but conventional power generation from coal has meant emitting
more carbon dioxide into an already overloaded atmosphere,” Kessler said. “By
implementing this cutting-edge environmentally friendly technology, our air quality would
be greatly improved,” Kessler added. “The potential of this technology is absolutely
Mark Allen, CEO at A2BE Carbon Capture and Vice Chairperson of the Algal Biomass
Organization commented, “CBTL is a breakthrough renewable fuels strategy that, through
CO2 capture and recycle with algae, enables the production of a wide range of low netcarbon
liquid fuels from domestic coal. This integrated refinery platform provides a
unique opportunity for algae to become a profitable part of the nation’s fuel solution in
the near term.”
Excess algae from the CBTL process will be formulated into a “living” algae-based soil
enhancement product being developed by A2BE called TerraDermTM. When applied to soil,
TerraDerm™ can annually remove 10 times its weight in carbon from the atmosphere and
also fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere, supplementing synthetic nitrogen fertilizer in
farming applications. TerraDerm™ can also be used in mine reclamation. The carbon from
recycled CO2 used to grow TerraDerm™, and carbon removed from atmospheric CO2 by
TerraDerm™, ultimately becomes part of the soil makeup.
Following the site selection and facility design process, the Alliance will request a formal
grant from the Commonwealth to construct a demonstration plant and produce its
cleaner fuel on a larger scale. The Alliance expects to complete the study by October
The Carbon Cycle Technology Alliance was formed in 2009 to address the simultaneous
challenges of increasing the supply of secure fuels while reducing greenhouse gas
emissions. The resulting integrated carbon capture and recycling process joins CBTL
technology with algae photobioreactor CO2 recycling technology from Alliance partners
Accelergy and A2BE Carbon Capture, respectively, and the development engineering,
systems integration, carbon sequestration, and Six Sigma driven program management
capabilities of Raytheon.
About A2BE Carbon Capture
A2BE Carbon Capture LLC is developing technologies that have meaningful prospects for
rebalancing the carbon content of the atmosphere. The Company is a leader in closed
photobioreactor (PBR) algae cultivation and harvesting technologies that monetize CO2
emissions into food, fuel, and profits. The Company’s PBRs can be scaled into large algae
farms that recycle industrial CO2 emissions into algal biomass, for further processing into
a range of valuable commodities including biofuel, animal feed protein, fertilizer and
advanced compounds. For more information, visit www.algaeatwork.com or contact Jeff
About Accelergy Corp.
Accelergy is a global leader in producing ultra-clean synthetic fuels, promoting energy
security by using domestic resources. Their proprietary catalytic technology significantly
increases the efficiency of the Coal-Biomass-to-liquid process (CBTL) while significantly
reducing greenhouse emissions. Based in Houston, Texas, Accelergy has established an
international presence in partnerships with some of the world’s leading energy
companies. For more information, please visit www.accelergy.com.