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Carbon Capture and Utilization

HYCO1 and Kansas Ethanol partner on world’s largest biogenic CCU plant

HYCO1 and Kansas Ethanol partner on world’s largest biogenic CCU plant
HYCO1 is a Houston, Texas (TX) based technology company that has created a disruptive carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion catalyst and related low-cost CO2 process technology (photo courtesy HYCO1).

In the United States (US), HYCO1, Inc., a carbon utilization technology company, has announced that it has entered into a 20-year carbon dioxide supply agreement with Kansas Ethanol, located in Lyons, Kansas (KS) for the planned construction of the world's largest biogenic carbon dioxide utilization (CCU) facility, Green Carbon Synthetics Kansas, LLC.

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The HYCO1 “CUBE” (Carbon Utilization, Best Efficiency) technology cost-effectively utilizes CO2 and various methane (CH4) source feedstocks to create low-cost, low-carbon chemical-grade syngas in a single pass.

The syngas produced is used to produce low carbon intensity (CI) downstream products.

HYCO1 is excited to announce this innovative, next-generation project and to collaborate with the Kansas Ethanol team, which runs one of the most advanced ethanol production facilities in the country. I have worked with the Kansas Ethanol team for the last fifteen years, including my tenure as Director of Technology Strategy at ICM, Inc., the world’s largest ethanol technology provider, said Kurt Dieker, Chief Development Officer, and Co-founder of HYCO1.

According to HYCO1, its technology not only lowers the resultant carbon score of the downstream products by 50 percent to 100 percent but does so at a competitive cost compared to fossil feedstock-derived products and without the requirement of incentives like many other technologies.

HYCO1 technology enables green syngas to be used for making products such as hydrogen, synthetic base oils, low-carbon sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable methanol, and many others.

Although most ethanol producers are considering or pursuing underground carbon sequestration in our industry to decarbonize, we believe that carbon utilization, which supports a circular carbon economy, represents the best use of our CO2, and positions us more competitively in the market. Value-added products made from CO2 that displace fossil-derived products represent a win for us at Kansas Ethanol, a win for the US Ethanol Sector, and a win for the global environment, said Mike Chisam, CEO of Kansas Ethanol.

Co-located with Kansas Ethanol

The new HYCO1 project to be co-located with Kansas Ethanol will utilize all of their 800 tonnes per day of CO2 to produce approximately 60 million (US) gallons (≈227 million litres) per year of low-carbon and zero-carbon products.

The Lyons HYCO1 project is in the engineering stage with plans to complete the pre-construction engineering in 2024. The facility will produce approximately 4 000 barrels per day of first-of-a-kind synthetic base lubricating oils and low-carbon SAF made from CO2.

High-performance products include four centistoke base oil for use in the highest grade synthetic motor oils, and a two centistoke base oil currently being tested by EV manufacturers for its ideal battery and drive-train heat transfer and lubrication properties.

While there are many paths that an ethanol facility can take to improve sustainability and margins, ranging from additional energy efficiencies to protein separation, in my opinion, CO2 utilization represents the leading value-added step for an ethanol production facility. As a native Kansan, I am especially proud to be able to build the first of many HYCO1 Carbon Negative, Planet Positive facilities starting with this flagship project in Kansas, Kurt Dieker said.

The projects’ products are produced with more than 80 percent reductions in carbon footprints versus traditional fossil-derived products.

Approximately half of the weight of these new sustainable products will consist of biogenic CO2 that would have previously been emitted into the atmosphere.

We are looking forward to the construction of the HYCO1-based Green Carbon Synthetics Kansas, LLC facility next to ours. The co-location benefits: carbon dioxide utilization, natural gas offset through waste heat steam production, and additional electricity offsets will position our facility as a world leader of low-carbon ethanol resulting in significant shared savings, Mike Chisam said.

He also noted that HYCO1’s carbon utilization technology “enables us to sustainably produce all products, even if, or when, government support incentives are no longer available. That is incredibly important to us.”

HYCO1 is currently evaluating additional project sites and partners to mirror the Green Carbon Synthetics Kansas, LLC project, while also collaborating with downstream technology providers to produce other low-carbon products.

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