Converting Biomass Waste into Fuel and Chemical Precursors at Oil Industry Scale and Profitability


One of the major challenges facing the energy and petrochemical sectors is the quest to develop a technology that will guarantee, at oil industry scale, the effective, efficient and profitable conversion of non-food biomass into liquid fuels and a range of useful chemicals.

Nova Pangaea Technologies’ (NPT) staged, progressive, physical and thermochemical Refnova process enables a complete fractionation of lignocellulosic materials into their constituent parts.

Now covered by US patent (issued Feb 2014), the NPT process takes green feedstock as cut and uses no bioactives such as enzymes or bacteria. Internally catalysed it is continuous (“tubular”), fast (minutes), simple and clean.

Each fraction of the full slate of fuel precursors and platform chemicals produced is at a high level of purity, suitable for onward processing.

Beginning with physical separations and progressively moving to more aggressive thermochemical hydrolysis and steam thermolysis operations, NPT’s staged process incorporates certain enhancing technologies which improve yields through avoiding premature cell degradation.

Independent technical and commercial due diligences confirm significant advantages compared to all other known biomass conversion technologies in terms of product range and quality.

Those due diligences also foresee commercial superiority driven by the lower operating and capital costs.

IRRs of over 40% will be achievable at the medium term target scale of 200 tonnes (green) biomass per hour (roughly equivalent to 5,000 bbl/day oil equivalent). Competitive without subsidy even against low oil prices of ~$50/bbl.

Green house gas savings have been estimated by E4Tech at 97.6%.

A 20 kilo/hour pilot plant was commissioned in May 2016 and is delivering exciting results in line with expectations.

Construction of a 2 tonne/hour (green) demonstration plant, funded by the UK Department for Transport’s Advanced Biofuel Demonstration Competition (ABDC) grant award, is now underway at the Wilton chemical complex on Teesside, UK.