Genifuel – Thermal Processing
Developing Technology…Producing Clean Energy
About the Company:
Genifuel Corporation produces equipment to make renewable fuels from wet organic material by a highly efficient process known as Hydrothermal Processing (HTP). The Genifuel process starts with wet organic material such as food processing wastes, animal wastes, and human-generated wastes. Regardless of feedstock, the organic material is collected and then processed in the hydrothermal system, which achieves very fast conversion of more than 99% of the organic content of the wet waste. The output of the system is biocrude oil or natural gas, or both, depending on how the system is configured. Essentially the hydrothermal process accomplishes in less than an hour what would take millions of years in nature.
About the Solution:
Genifuel’s hydrothermal technology is a wet process, in which wastes are converted to renewable fuels. HTP consists of a first step which produces biocrude oil, and a second step which produces methane gas. The steps can be used alone or together. HTP is a continuous-flow process, with total time through the system of less than one hour. The water which carries the waste through the system is cleaned in the process, and the output water is clear and sterile. The process is highly efficient, using less than 14% of the energy produced in the fuels to operate the system. More than 99% of the feedstock organic matter is converted, leaving no solids for further processing or disposal. The output products can be used in ways similar to their fossil equivalents.
The Genifuel process has no atmospheric release of nitrogen as it is converted to ammonia during the hydrothermal process and remains in the effluent water. Other plant nutrients such as potash and trace elements also remain in the effluent water. If the effluent water is applied to the soil it has fertilizer value similar to the original manure, minus the bulk and odor potential.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
- May produce a salable product in the form of hydrochar, a product similar to biochar
- Hydrochar does not yet have an established, stable commercial market in the United States
- There is variation of operational intensity by site and by technology, many technologies require pairing with other technologies to offer a comprehensive manure management solution
- There is significant variation of cost depending on site and by technology
- Proven technology for phosphorous recovery, storage reduction, GHG reduction, odor control and pathogen reduction but not widely adopted
- This technology may lose nitrogen to the atmosphere
Thermal process technologies:
- Produce a soil amendment in the form of biochar, ash and other products
- These products have not yet established a stable commercial market
- Include pyrolysis, torrefaction, gasification and hydrothermal carbonization
- There is significant variation in energy use and recovery depending on feedstock
- There is significant variation of operational intensity by site and by technology
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY