‘Primus Will Be Using Natural Gas as a Bridge to Biofuels’
Primus Green Energy has dedicated its $7 million demonstration plant for making 93-octane gasoline from natural gas and biomass in Hillsborough, N.J.
The facility is to open late this year. It is designed to produce 33 liters of gasoline per hour, and is to serve as the proving ground for the company’s first commercial plant, for which Primus expects to break ground next year.
Primus’s target is a drop-in replacement for gasoline, “as opposed to alternative fuels that require costly engine modifications or fuel delivery infrastructure overhauls.”
“The new demonstration plant will showcase the flexibility of Primus Green Energy technology in terms of both feedstock and end product,” the company says. Primus will initially use natural gas as a feedstock, but the facility “will later be adapted to use biomass in the form of wood pellets or energy crops.
“The end products will include a high quality gasoline that is virtually identical to gasoline produced from petroleum, and jet fuel.”
“Primus will be using natural gas as a bridge to biofuels,” a spokesman says.
“We have gone from the concept stage to the demonstration stage in only five years and now, with the demo plant, we can further refine our technology with the goal of commercializing our technology next year,” Primus CEO Robert Johnsen said in the company’s announcement.
The Primus process “is a proprietary version of proven commercial technologies to convert natural gas and/or biomass to a variety of liquid transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel or specialty chemicals such as xylene and toluene,” the firm adds.
Primus says it has recorded the highest cellulose-to-gasoline conversion efficiency rate in the industry, and that its product “is feedstock flexible through the use of natural gas as a supplement or replacement for biomass,” with low capital and operating costs.
The June 22 dedication ceremony drew dignitaries including former New Jersey Governor James Florio and Leonard Lance, U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 7th congressional district.
The event included tours of Primus’ existing pilot plant, where the firm is now making small amounts of gasoline from natural gas and biomass, including the gasoline used to fuel the car for the test drive.
Primus Green Energy says it has been funded since its inception by a single investor, IC Green Energy, described as the alternative energy investment arm of Israel Corp., Israel’s largest publicly traded corporation.
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Source: Primus release and Fleets & Fuels follow-up