ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — The Colorado-based alternative-fuels startup that plans to build a manufacturing facility in Rapides Parish says it will use ExxonMobil's methanol-to-gasoline technology at the site.
The Town Talk reports (http://townta.lk/OMEhaR ) that Sundrop Fuels Inc. of Longmont, Colo., made that announcement Friday.
The "green gasoline" refinery is to be built off of Interstate 49 north of Alexandria. The project was announced in November 2011.
Sundrop plans to break ground in late 2012 and begin production by the end of 2014. This will be its first commercial plant, designed to produce up to 50 million gallons of renewable gasoline annually.
The company will use a high-temperature process to convert forest waste into a "drop-in fuel" that can be used in gasoline-burning cars and trucks, aircraft and other internal-combustion engines.
The process mixes biomass with hydrogen generated by burning natural gas to make a synthetic gas, which then will be converted into methanol.
The end product, Sundrop Fuels says, is zero-sulfur, ultra-low benzene gasoline that can be used directly or blended with petroleum-based gasoline. The company says it can be delivered through existing fuel distribution infrastructure.
The methane-to-gasoline technology was developed in the 1970s and was successfully commercialized for a large-scale natural gas-to-gasoline plant during the 1980s in New Zealand, the company said.
In a statement, Sundrop Fuels CEO Wayne Simmons said using ExxonMobil's technology will give Sundrop Fuels a "proven fuels synthesis method."
When built, the plant in Rapides Parish will give company a space to use a proprietary radiant particle heat-transfer gasification technology that it says will help the company build additional biofuels plants.
Sundrop Fuels has the backing of Chesapeake Energy Corp., and two venture-capital firms — Oak Investment Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers.
Information from: Alexandria Daily Town Talk, http://www.thetowntalk.com