[Gasification] Range Fuels Closing Plant

GF gfwhell at aol.com
Tue Jan 25 12:40:51 CST 2011

                               Government Grants and Ethanol.
I think we all agree on: THE GREAT ETHANOL SWINDLE.
This is where our tax dollars are diverted into non economic production 
of a fuel additive which supposedly saves us from climate change.
The primary players in this scam have made sure their methods together with the cash cow they have created “REMAINS INTACT”
The last thing they desire is a new and more efficient system to be discovered or adopted.
So how do they protect their interests?
Quite simply, take control of any new committees  responsible for the selection of grants which might produce an alternative to their scam.
How could such a wasteful and useless system be chosen for Federal Investment unless the people on the committee had an agenda which also included the grant seekers.
The naivety of those who believe that poor judgment on the part of the perpetrators is the primary cause of such “losses” should have their voting rights revoked.
There are no accidents or poor judgment in politics. That is the excuse generated by a stupid and trusting electorate.
It will not matter how merit worthy your claim is for grant money, it will not be considered worthy if it challenges an established “funded” system. 
It might be chosen if it has “floors”, in which case, be prepared to share it with at least one member of the committee.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Ludlow <mark at ludlow.com>
To: 'Discussion of biomass pyrolysis and gasification' <gasification at lists.bioenergylists.org>
Sent: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 11:20 am
Subject: Re: [Gasification] Range Fuels Closing Plant

Tom writes: Wonder why anyone stays in this field?
Reply: It pays well.


From: gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org [mailto:gasification-bounces at lists.bioenergylists.org] On Behalf Of LINVENT at aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 6:27 AM
To: tmiles at trmiles.com; gasification at lists.bioenergylists.org
Subject: Re: [Gasification] Range Fuels Closing Plant

Dear Technologists,
     The failure or whatever it is spun by Mr. Klepper in the article announcing the closure of the plant, is by itself devastating to the industry. Without a successfully operating plant, the industry has no positive markers for the investment community. Do you think that the financing group would do another bio-refinery after putting up the money for this plant? 
     What is more difficult is that nowhere in the technical review community used to fund this plant was the critical eye which said "It won't work". Of course, the developers may have shopped the technical review until they got what they wanted to hear. The DOE is quite apparently not able to make the distinction as they approved the funding. This also means that a successful technology would not be known by them. It takes a winner to know a winner. 
      I had early meetings with parts of the Klepper movement. A small private group which had put $1+mm into the project and were basically abandoneed when the technology was sold to another group for development. Their concerns were the reactor design which apparently relied upon a mechanical system which they didn't think would scale well. Not knowing what the issues with the plant not operating, this may have been a contributing factor. They also said that they were sticking with it and just picking my brains which I suspected and didn't contribute anything of significance. 
      There were also issues with the catalyst. Reports that it produced only ethanol using the proprietary catalyst were suspect as most of the catalysts for ethanol production produce methanol also. The press statement that they ran a methanol batch first and then an ethanol batch, are interesting in this regard. 
      DOE is doing a lot of soul searching at the behest of the White House because of the dearth of bio-energy project successes. Political pressure will not make it happen, money will not make it happen, but a serious well developed , innovative, simple process and technology will. 
     Below are some of the massive failures:
Occidental's flash pyrolysis unit in Sad Diego: $100mm
Britestar/EDL pyrolysis unit in Australia: $200mm
Range Fuels: $300mm
Molten Metals: $90mm(mostly DOE earmarked funds)
Hawaii IGT/EPRI/Westinghouse/HPL/ gasification unit: $30-50mm?
Battelle's dual fluidized bed gasification system: $60mm? 
Thermoselect's two stage combustion system: $125mm/plant 4-5 plants except for the one in Japan which I think is still operating. 
PRM's Philadelphia sewage sludge gasification system: $2-3mm (blew up and was shut down very shortly after installation, I was called to see if wanted the plant for scrap).
Italian sawdust gasification plant near Venice, 1 Mwe couldn't get an engine to run more than 40 hours between valve jobs due to tar fouling of intake valves. 
Farmland's acquisition of the Daggett, California Texaco coal gasification 144 Mwe power plant and reconstituting it in Coffeville, Kansas to run on pet coke for ammonia production. Texaco was thrown out of the project, Farmland finished the plant got it running on petcoke, had to file bankruptcy and sell the 1100 ton/day ammonia production unit using it to a separate entity. 
     The list goes on and on. 
     Wonder why anyone stays in this field? 

Leland T. "Tom" Taylor
Thermogenics Inc.

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