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Regarding the viability of gasifiers


Some of St. Albert’s councillors appear concerned about the viability of developing a gasifier to use waste materials.

I suggest they review the successful development of thermo-conversion systems already in operation in Alberta that use waste materials as their only feedstock. A review of existing developments will clearly support their initiative to develop a gasifier in St. Albert to eliminate and use waste materials as a viable resource. These bioenergy systems reduce the costs of disposing waste materials and result in a profit for the energy or fuels developed from the syngas they produce.

The Dapp Generating Station was converted in 2009 to a bubbling circular fluidized bed gasifier to generate 13.5 MW of power. Their feedstock is the waste demolition wood from Edmonton and the waste wood from Slave Lake Sawmills to produce the syngas for the energy required to produce electricity. Ten years of successful commercial operation.

Enerkem Alberta Biofuels has been in operation in Edmonton since 2014 producing 38 million litres of methanol and ethanol from their gasifier. They use the waste demolition wood and waste plastics and have reduced the costs for Edmonton to dispose of their municipal wastes. And they have the potential to make SynGasoline or SyndDiesel or SynJet in the future from the gasifier’s syngas.

Western Hydrogen in Fort Saskatchewan commercialized the molten salt gasifier in 2014 to produce hydrogen to upgrade heavy oil to a lighter synthetic oil from the waste asphaltenes left over from processing heavy oil. This process will also gasify waste biomass.

In Sweden, 70 per cent of their energy needs come from bioenergy. They use the waste from logging operations and municipal waste in gasifiers to develop centralized heat and power systems.

And we are now able to produce SynDiesel and SynJet from the syngas from gasifiers. Expander Energy of Calgary, Alberta developed the Enhanced Fisher-Tropsch process to commercially develop synthetic fuels from gasifiers (at a smaller scale than was previously possible).

Unfortunately Albertans are not aware of the developments of new technologies that were spearheaded by Ralph Klien’s “Taking Action on Climate Change” he implemented in 2002.

The use of energy or fuels developed from biomass or waste feedstocks are not recorded as a Carbon Emission under the Kyoto Carbon Accounting Protocol.

Dave Patterson, St. Albert