AdvocacyBiofuelsABFA MembersFor MediaBetter Fuels Blog
Velocys

Velocys is the company at the forefront of smaller scale gas-to-liquids (GTL) and biomass-to-liquids (BTL). Its products include premium renewable diesel, jet fuel and waxes from sustainable sources such as woody biomass and landfill gas.

Velocys technology, protected by several hundred patents in over 30 countries, is specifically designed for scales relevant to these feedstock sources, combining super-active catalysts with intensified reactor systems. Standardised modular plants can be deployed readily in a wide range of locations, and Velocys’ capabilities and extensive experience deliver a proven route to operation.

Velocys plc is admitted to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE: VLS). The company has a strong, multi-disciplinary staff operating from its commercial centre in Houston, Texas, USA and technical facilities near Oxford, UK and Columbus, Ohio, USA.

Focus markets and strategy

Velocys’ near-term focus markets are:

1.   Renewable diesel and jet fuels, from woody biomass, in the US.

2.   Premium wax products, from both stranded gas and landfill gas in North America.

3.   Renewable fuels, from woody biomass, in targeted Asian markets.

With its partners, Velocys aims to deliver the most economically compelling conversion solution in each of its focus markets; an integrated solution that includes fully integrated, designed, constructed and commissioned plants, fully financed with feedstock and offtake agreements in place. The company intends for this offer to be deployed across multiple plants.

Velocys continues to license its Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology to third parties.

Proven technology

Velocys is recognised as a technology market leader.Its FT technology has been tested for 1.3 million hours in the laboratory and for over 26,000 hours at pilot/demonstration scale. Velocys technology is operationally-ready, robust, and optimised not only for peak performance but also to meet the challenges of everyday variations in, for example, feedstock composition. All the protocols required to operate a commercial plant have been demonstrated at the Velocys pilot plant.

First product has been produced at ENVIA Energy’s plant in Oklahoma City. ENVIA Energy is a joint venture, of which Velocys is a member, formed in March 2014 to produce renewable fuels and chemicals from landfill gas and natural gas. The plantis located adjacent to Waste Management’s East Oak landfill site and acts asthe commercial reference plant for Velocys’ technology. As the first commercial smaller scale GTL plant in the world, first product there represents a milestone for the industry, as well as for Velocys and ENVIA.

A video taken at the Oklahoma City plant and discussing Velocys’ involvement in the project can be viewed herehere. It includes commentary from personnel representing Velocys and ENVIA Energy.

Cost-competitive technology

Particularly in today’s oil price environment, asset owners and project developers need to select a technology that allows them to achieve the best possible economic returns from their plant. Velocys’ FT reactorand catalystsystem delivers high conversion efficiencies and yields of valuable, premium grade products. This increases the revenues that can be derived from a plant with a given input, insulating projects from oil price volatility.

Using certain feedstocks, fuels produced using Velocys FT have lifecycle greenhouse gas reductions of 60% or more relative to conventional fuels. They qualify for the highest level of federal US Renewable Identification Numbers (RIN) fuel credits as well as Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits in California. In these markets compared to other biomass-based fuel production technologies, Velocys FT is cost competitive, is less reliant on incentives, has lower ongoing feedstock costs and has access to an abundance of potential feedstock.

Fischer-Tropsch fuels

The FT technology route is one of a very small number of ways to produce high quality renewable fuels that can be blended at high percentages with petroleum-based products and that are compatible with existing infrastructure and engines.

FT products are highly paraffinic and do not contain aromatics or sulphur. FT fuels burn cleaner than petroleum-derived fuels, resulting in lower emissions of NOx, SOx and particulates. Use of high-purity FT diesel also reduces engine noise and reduces wear and tear on vital engine components. FT fuels are often blended to instil their high performance (high Cetane) characteristics into lower quality petroleum-derived fuels.