Past Events / Pittsburg, PA

BDC Spring Conference, Pittsburg, PA - April 7, 2010 - Coskata Hybrid Gasifier/Fermenter

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On April 7 BDC sponsored a very successful symposium in Pittsburgh where the following presentations were made by several attendees:

  1. “Beyond ROI, What an Investor Looks for in a Bio-Energy Opportunity” – David W. Brown – Obsidian Finance Group.
  2. “Summary of DOE and USDA Loan Guarantee Program and Other Tax Incentives” – Gregory Lynch – Michael Best and Friedrich.
  3. “Washington Update: How the Changing Legislative Landscape Could Affect the Owners of Biofuels and Bio-refineries and Manufacturing Facilities” – John Marciano – Chadbourne & Parke LLP.
  4. “An Update on National biofuels Action Plan and Recentely DOE Funded Bio-refinery Projects” – Valri Lightner – US Department of Energy.
  5. “Advances in Pyrolysis Technology Enables 2nd Generation Feedstock Application for Renewable Power, Heat and Transportation Fuels” – Graham Ellis – UOP, LLC.
  6. “Second Generation Cellulosic Ethanol Facility” – Thomas Schueller – KL Energy Corp.
  7. “Evaluating Bio-refnery Technology Evaluating Metric” – Paul R. Stuart – Chem Eng. Dept – Ecole Poltytechnique Montreal.
  8. “FPAC BioPathways Study” – Don Roberts – CIBC Work Markets.
  9. “Value Prior to Pulping” – James Bradbury – NewPage.
  10. Coskate Process Overview and Pre-Tour Details – Wesley Bolsen – Coskata, Inc.

A brief video clip was watched by the conference attendees and a panel discussion was held on the NewPage and the Flambaeu River Bio-refineries and Progress at TRI Pilot Facility. The panel discussion covered the implementation of the Fisher Tropsch process and was moderated by BDC’s Ben Thorp:

  1. Dave Newport – TRI.
  2. Bob Byrne – Flambeau River Bio-refinery.
  3. Doug Freeman – NewPage Corp.

A field site visit was made by the attendees of a pre-commercial large scale pilot system built by Coskata utilizing Westinghouse Plasma Jet technology to breakdown woodchips (or other organic materials) producing ethanol. In Coskata’s process the resulting “syngas” produced by the plasma jet heat was cooled and directed to a bioreactor where a proprietary strain of micro-organisms converted the “syngas” to ethanol and then the ethanol was distilled to meet fuel use standards.

A presentation and tour of Coskata’s synfuel to ethanol small scale commercial process at the Westinghouse plasma technology center was the highlight of a very interesting meeting that included 12 other presentations from ranging from policy at the DOE, overview of investors perceptions of the industry, academic studies of various technologies currently available or under development, and commercial installations of state of the art conversion of cellulosic substrates to useful energy rich biochemicals and bioenergy.


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