By Joanna Schroeder
The state of Pennsylvania has awarded a $1.3 million grant to Accelergy Corporation to enable construction on their integrated coal-biomass-to-liquids (CBTL) facility to move forward. The CBTL plant is located at Intertek PARC, located at the U-PARC facility in Pittsburgh. Prior to this award, the company received a $175,000 grant for a feasibility study that included recommended site locations. Once completed, the pilot plant will prove out Accelergy’s coal to liquids technology and provide the base needed to move to commercial scale technologies.
“This grant is a strong endorsement of Accelergy and its partners’ technology, and shows the commitment of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to the development of advanced technologies that leverage the state’s abundant natural resources and will bring jobs to the state,” said Tim Vail, CEO of Accelergy. “We are laying the foundation for the commercialization of the domestically sourced fuels that will power U.S. fleets and help the United States achieve its energy security goals.”
During the pilot phase of the project, Accelergy will produce and test various types of non-petroleum fuel including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. In addition, CO2 will be utilized by algae – another source of liquid fuels. The company is also looking into the feasibility of turning the algae into a bio-fertilizer. Energy Strategy Environment LLC (ESE), a systems integration provider, will oversee the marriage of the technologies and business partners for the algae based carbon capture and recycle components of the project. Accelergy has agreements in place with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering (TARDEC) Center to test and certify the resulting fuels for various applications.
“Recycling industrial CO2 emission into valuable carbon feedstocks for production of additional liquid fuels creates a sustainable pathway for CBTL,” said ESE founder Mark Allen, P.E. “Algal biomass from the project will be adapted for use as a natural bio-fertilizer with the potential to reduce the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer and to sequester carbon in agricultural soils and reclaimed mine site soils, further benefitting the environment.”