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Published on Feb 5, 2016
The ability to make fuel from biomass has existed for decades. However, production cost is a major barrier to seeing biomass gasoline at any local pump. Typically, biomass feedstocks require water removal via drying before oil extraction, which is an energy-intensive and expensive process. However, Genifuel Corp and the Pacific Northwest National have developed a process to convert wet biomass into biofuels while it’s still wet, eliminating costly drying. Wet biomass is heated and pressurized, converting 99% of the organic matter into biocrude, which can be used as jet fuel, gasoline or diesel. The effluent water is continually processed, yielding natural gas for energy and plant nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The clean, nutrient-containing water can be recycled to grow more feedstock or for agriculture. The process works with a variety of wet biomass, including food processing waste, animal waste and municipal solid waste.