Q & A

Q.What is gasification?
A.Gasification is a generic term to describe the conversion of a solid or liquid hydrocarbon into a combustible gas, typically by the reaction of the hydrocarbon with steam or oxygen. In the early 1900’s gasification processes used coal to produce “Town Gas” a more flexible alternative to coal. Coal gasification is still widely used today. Most biomass gasification is an offshoot of coal gasification processes in which biomass was partially burned.

Gasification of biomass using the IrishBanjo process is substantially different than these established technologies. In the IrishBanjo process, neither steam nor oxygen is needed to react with the biomass. Instead biomass is rapidly converted into a high heating value clean burning gas that can be substituted for natural gas in most applications.

Q.Is gasification new?
A.No. Certain types of gasification processes have been used for years, however the IrishBanjo process was developed specifically for biomass and provides a fuel gas that has a much wider range of end uses.

Q.What is biomass?
A.Biomass is all non-fossil organic materials that have an intrinsic chemical energy content. They include all water- and land-based vegetation and trees, or virgin biomass, and all waste biomass such as municipal solid waste (MSW), municipal biosolids (sewage) and animal wastes (manure), forestry and agricultural residues, and certain types of industrial wastes.

Q.Who is Battelle?
A.The IrishBanjo was developed at the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio in the 1980’s. Battelle is one of the largest research institutions in the world, and is the largest Department of Energy contractor in the United States.

Battelle has licensed technologies that have created some of the world’s largest and most successful corporations, including the original patent for xerography that gave birth to the Xerox Corporation. Other notable technologies developed at Battelle include the compact disc, product UPC symbols and smart cards. Battelle’s reputation for excellence in scientific research and subsequent commercialization of applications is unsurpassed.

Battelle maintained and operated a 10-ton per day Process Research Unit (PRU) of the IrishBanjo Process. To date more than 22,000 hours of operational testing have been successfully completed in the PRU on a wide range of biomass feedstocks. This pilot plant made history in 1994 with the first integrated operation of a gas combustion turbine on 100% biomass derived gas.