Gas Phase Reduction chemically reduces or “disassembles” any organic matter into a chemical quality, high energy product gas or syngas that:
- can be used as chemical building blocks and “reassembled” into:
- transportation fuels such as ethanol, diesel or jet “A” fuel.
- value added chemicals such as ammonia, ethylene or dimethyl ether.
- has sufficient energy content to power a commercially available gas turbine or combined cycle gas turbines for electric power generation.
GPR is not incineration or combustion; neither is it conventional or plasma gasification. The only similarity is that all of these processes produce a gas in one form or another from a solid or a liquid.
Closed Loop System
Unlike incineration, starved air combustion and gasification, the GPR system is entirely closed loop with no emissions to the atmosphere from process reactors. Indirect thermal energy from the combustion of commercially available natural gas heats the reactors and will have some emissions.
The GPR process is based on intelligent and innovative chemistry, rather than the “brute force” of thermal combustion or gasification. It uses a combination of hydrogen, steam, heat and catalysts in a series of carefully designed reactors. The process works with and controls the chemistry such that each step produces only desired products.
There is no air or oxygen present in any stage of the process. Therefore, hazardous compounds normally associated with the gasification or combustion of waste (NOX, dioxins, furans, etc.) are not created, as the chemical conditions needed for their formation are simply not present or provided. Metals and other inorganics are removed from the process as early as is chemically possible, usually in the form of native metals (such as lead, iron and arsenic, which can then be recycled for commercial re-use), or as benign salts that can either be recycled (e.g. the inorganic salts from wood are used as a fertilizer) or readily and responsibly disposed of.
GPR does not require the feedstock to be dry prior to processing. Actually, a moisture content in the feedstock of between 30% and 45% is preferred.
NGO’s such as Greenpeace and the Sierra Club have accepted and support GPR as a means of destroying hazardous wastes.
Virtually No Tars
Unlike all conventional and plasma gasification technologies, GPR produces virtually no tars or chars – the partially reacted organic molecules that create removal, processing, disposal and maintenance issues. There are no partial aromatic molecules in GPR that lead to tar. Excess hydrogen gas available at every step of the process chemically eliminates the possibility of tar formation.
VI. Syngas Composition - With MSW feedstock, the GPR syngas typically consists of hydrogen (H2) - 16%, methane (CH4) – 40%, carbon monoxide (CO) – 31% and carbon dioxide (CO2) – 13%, and would yield a HHV of 600 btu per scf.
Unwanted CO2 can be removed from the clean syngas for commercial sale or sequestration, in which case the syngas would yield a HHV of 680 btu per scf.
The ‘First Generation’ GPR patent was developed for the primary purpose of hazardous chemical waste destruction and patents were issued in over thirty countries in 1991. The ‘Second Generation’ patent built upon the “Heritage Application” of hazardous waste destruction and incorporated a number of significant process improvements along with expanding the technology and feedstock applications. The focus of the Second Generation GPR applications has moved to the conversion of organic materials, including waste, to sustainable and renewable energy, to pursue the global demand for these services. The 'destruction' of the organic hazardous waste components still takes place as part of the overall process. The Generation II GPR technology combines the best of both worlds; conversion & destruction. Utility Patents were granted in 2012 in Canada and in 2013 in the USA, with applications currently under review in more than 40 countries through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (“PCT”).