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Sundrop Fuels

Founded:
2008

Location:
Corporate headquarters: Longmont, Colorado
Planned First Commercial Plant: Alexandria, Louisiana

Conversion Technology:
Sundrop Fuels has developed a combination of proprietary technologies for converting renewable biomass into chemical grade synthesis gas and subsequent commercial technologies for converting the gas into tank-ready transportation fuels. The Sundrop Fuels overall conversion process eliminates the numerous challenges and barriers that historically have hindered attempts to economically produce transportation fuels from biomass using traditional thermal-chemical methods.

Sundrop Fuels’ unique biomass conversion method differs from conventional thermal chemical conversion systems by using a proprietary two-step BioReforming process. This thermal conversion process completely converts the biomass producing exceptionally clean, chemical grade renewable synthesis gas. The unique biomass to gas processing promotes high yields and fully converts organic tars and residual light hydrocarbons that traditionally have been a problem with typical thermal biomass conversion technologies. The technology results in industry-leading yields and cost efficiency. In addition, the process creates a minimal environmental impact, resulting in low life-cycle carbon emissions.

Once the chemical grade synthesis gas has been created with the core technology, the company uses conventional commercial technologies for final conversion into “drop-in” transportation fuels. Sundrop Fuels recognizes that the successful path to large scale production of renewable transportation fuels requires that it become the low cost producer in an environmentally sensitive world. The company’s technology approach is competitive with current world standards for fuel production costs.
One challenge to producing advanced biofuels with biomass feedstock is maximizing yields to enable optimum efficiency and cost. Sundrop Fuels’ proprietary process co-processes “hydrogen-rich” natural gas with “hydrogen-short” biomass to significantly increase yield compared to traditional thermal conversion processes. In fact, this configuration of the patented Sundrop Fuels processes converts most of the renewable carbon to transportation fuel rather than a significant portion being lost as waste carbon dioxide. This provides one of the highest yields of biofuels per ton of cellulosic feedstock compared to any current technology in the world today. The resulting fuels produced are fully compatible with fuel industry quality standards and available at an unsubsidized fixed and variable cost of under $2 per gallon.

On an energy-equivalent basis, our technology enables the highest fuel energy yield per ton of biomass of all biofuels processes, and almost twice as much as conventional gasification processes or the biochemical-based processes typically used to make cellulosic ethanol.

As important, the Sundrop Fuels biofuel production path significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions as compared to the production of conventional petroleum fuels. Every gallon of Sundrop Fuels drop-in cellulosic advanced biofuel will generate RIN credits under the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Product:
Sundrop Fuels technology provides for complete flexibility to produce any type of renewable, liquid advanced biofuel, from “green gasoline” to diesel and aviation fuels. These drop-in biofuels are fully compatible with today’s internal combustion engines, pipelines and other distribution infrastructure. In addition, these biofuels create immediate benefits for both consumers and the environment; a gallon of Sundrop Fuels renewable gasoline contains over 30 percent more energy value than a gallon of ethanol, while significantly reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions compared to petroleum fuels.

Metrics:
When completed, a single commercial-scale Sundrop Fuels biorefinery will efficiently produce more than 230 million gallons of transportation fuel annually. We will replicate biorefinery units in targeted areas, creating a capacity for producing more than a billion gallons annually by 2030 – a significant portion of the nation’s RFS goal.