Anergy Limited announced the completion of its High-Temperature Pyrolysis (HTP) plant at Yarwun, near Gladstone, Queensland, Australia. Carried out in collaboration with Southern Oil Refining (SOR), the project is situated at their Northern Oil Refinery (NOR) and was partly funded by the state of Queensland.
The plant processes waste biomass and hydrocarbon material as feedstock and to produce bio crude oil, which is then refined and converted at Northern Oil Refinery into renewable fuel products.
“Although a pilot, the plant at NOR is of commercial scale and far from the ‘lab-bench’ technology usually seen in this industry,” David Forster, process engineer at Anergy, said.
“This project is the first of its kind to use this technology, across this variety of feedstocks and at this scale.”
Anergy’s HTP plant is an integral part of Southern Oil Refining’s AUD 16 million Advanced Biofuels Pilot Plant program, which has been described as a “game changer” for the renewable energy market in Australia, using home-grown pioneering technology.
The plant aligns with Queensland’s Biofutures Roadmap and Action Plan, an initiative set out to spark a ‘bio-economic revolution’ in the state.
Southern Oil Refining predicts that their facility at Yarwun will produce one million litres of renewably-derived fuel within three years, for use in field trials with the Australian Defense Force, heavy road transport operators, the aviation sector and the U.S. Navy’s Great Green Fleet initiative.
“Anergy’s HTP technology is unique in the marketplace. Our equipment and design allows for high-temperature operations with first-in-class thermal efficiency. Our tightly integrated design is scalable across 30 kg/hr to 3,000 kg/hr, yet in many cases occupies the space of just a few shipping containers,” said Forster.
“Although a pilot, the plant at NOR is of commercial scale and far from the ‘lab-bench’ technology usually seen in this industry. This project is the first of its kind to use this technology, across this variety of feedstocks and at this scale.”
The HTP plant heats feedstock – either solid or liquid material – to temperatures as high as 900°C in an oxygen-free environment, where the material undergoes pyrolysis. The feed material separates into a solid biochar product and a gas stream called syngas.
At Northern Oil Refinery, the syngas is subsequently processed in a multistage condensing system to recover pyrolysis oil from the syngas, to then be re-refined into renewable fuel at NOR. The plant itself is compact – comprising a forty-foot feeding container, two multi-level skids and product conveyors – minimising space while optimising accessibility and operability.
“The NOR project is the development and delivery of an Australian technology to the forefront of the renewable energy and waste management markets. It has helped create jobs at all levels, including trade apprentices and graduate engineers. Our technology empowers our clients to generate and recover useful materials, and in doing so realise economic and environmental value, from their otherwise unusable waste,” Forster said.