Technology

 

The opportunity exists to combine improved diesel engine technology with a renewable, non-petroleum based, alternative diesel fuel.  This will allow for an increased use of diesel cars in the US that represent a more attractive alternative economically, environmentally, and politically.  Companies positioned to supply alternate fuels will see higher demand for their product. 

Bionit, developed by JGS Research and covered by 4 US patents, is such a product.

Alcohol-based fuels represent a most promising alternative; ethanol and methanol can be produced economically in sufficient quantities to have an impact on diesel fuel consumption and prices.  The challenge with using ethanol and methanol as primary fuels, however, is that they require engine modifications.  The use of additives known as ignition promoters improves the ignition quality of alcohols so that they can be utilized as diesel fuels without engine modification. 

JGS Research has experience developing Bionit ignition promoters from an array of diverse feedstocks ranging from bituminous coal, lignite, and peat, as well as from biomass-derived feedstocks such as corncobs, newspaper and bagasse.  The initial research, dating to 1980, was undertaken in collaboration with the Ontario Research Foundation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as well as the US Department of Energy.  Bionit has also been engine-tested by Daimler-Benz with favorable results. 

More recently, JGS Research, in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Energy Authority, has conducted research on even more economical Bionit ignition promoters based on fermentation residues (waste) from their ethanol production.

This research has resulted in the development of a proprietary process that allows the depolymerization and functionalization of biomass into monomers.  We then nitrate these monomers to obtain starting materials suitable for the production of an ignition promoter.   Key already-proven process steps are outlined below:

  

The Bionit process does not utilize feedstocks which compete with the agricultural food supply chain.  Nor does the Bionit process require the “invention” or “validation” of new, unproven catalysts, enzymes, or processes.  Only commercially available equipment and common raw materials are required to produce Bionit.  The process is readily scalable to accommodate any specific geographical and demand-base criteria.  Just as important, Bionit’s margin of safety is significantly higher than other ignition promoters (measured by an independent testing laboratory).  This is in marked contrast to other ignition promoters of similar nitrogen content, which require desensitizers to achieve an acceptable safety profile.

 

The Bionit process is economically competitive at relatively small scale (2 million gpy of Bionit yielding 10 million gpy when blended with methanol).  Establishment of Bionit manufacturing at a site with certain synergies (e.g., an integrated biorefinery scenario with gasification for heat & power generation, alcohol or biodiesel production, an algal source for biomass, or recovery of methane from landfill or biogas sources, etc.) has the potential to further improve Bionit manufacturing economics and broaden scalability.

 

The Bionit process yields an economical, proven biomass based alternative to diesel fuel.