SynTech Bioenergy, a Denver-based renewable energy technology company, has completed the installation of its newest facility which will convert pecan shells into electricity in Texas.
SynTech’s technology distributes clean energy through advanced thermal conversion of biomass and other wastes.
Five similar plants are currently operating on walnut shells in California; the first plant dates back to 2008. SynTech is preparing three additional units for a new California customer, and is well into manufacturing of its first unit for the Japanese market.
The company’s SynTech BioMax system is scalable from 165kWe to 1MWe and is modular, containerized, easily transportable, remotely operable and powered by a variety of biomass including wood wastes (chips and pellets, etc.), nut shells (walnut, pecan, coconut, pistachio, macadamia, etc.), fruit pits (olive, avocado, prune, date, etc.) and other feedstocks.
Heat created in the Texas process is used to dry the pecan shells and the system creates no waste. The only byproduct of the technologies is organic biochar, a soil amendment (fertilizer) which aids plant growth, reduces the need for irrigation and increases global food supplies. Biochar can be further processed to produce activated carbon for use in air and water filtration as well as graphene, an industrial material that is ultra-light, flexible and 200 times stronger than steel.
SynTech's closed-loop process eliminates site-produced waste shell by converting it to distributed, continuous and uninterrupted base load electricity. This electricity powers the customer facility and any excess electricity is fed back to the grid.
From the feedstock entering the system to the electricity produced by the installed generator sets, the BioMax system is carbon negative. Each system sequesters 1.07 ounces of carbon per kWh, amounting to approximately 35 tons of sequestered carbon each year, safely storing this carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
"The core of our process is what happens inside SynTech's fully automated BioMax system," SynTech CEO Wayne McFarland said in a statement. "The Texas facility utilizes proprietary advanced thermal conversion technologies to convert 13.2 tons of pecan shells per day into a gross 660 KWe, in a very small footprint of about a quarter acre. The SynTech process accomplishes this through proprietary advanced gasification, not incineration or burning."
The BioMax system is fully automated and can be controlled remotely from any location with internet access.