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Sierra BioFuels Plant achieves major milestone

Sierra BioFuels Plant achieves major milestone
A view of Fulcrum BioEnergy's Sierra Biofuels Plant in Reno, Nevada (plant courtesy Fulcrum BioEnergy).

US-based waste-to-fuels (W2F) process developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc (Fulcrum), has announced the completion of commissioning and the initial operations of its Sierra BioFuels Plant in Reno, Nevada (NV), dubbed as the world’s first commercial-scale landfill waste to renewable transportation fuels plant.

According to a statement, the Sierra BioFuels Plant biorefinery began operations on May 24, 2022, processing prepared waste feedstock and successfully producing the high-quality hydrocarbon synthetic gas, or syngas, which is ideal for conventional Fischer-Tropsch (FT) fuel production.

Combined with Fulcrum’s operations of its Feedstock Processing Facility, which converts landfill waste into a clean, prepared feedstock, Fulcrum has successfully harvested the carbon embedded in the waste and completed its transformation into a hydrocarbon syngas, while achieving the quality and expected conversion of recycled carbon.

This operations achievement at our Sierra plant is a real breakthrough step in making waste to fuels a reality, said Eric Pryor, President and CEO of Fulcrum BioEnergy.

The Sierra BioFuels Plant operations will now move on to the final step in Fulcrum’s waste to fuels process, converting the syngas into liquid fuel.

This is a tremendous moment for our company and a major milestone for our construction management, operations, and engineering teams who have worked tirelessly to integrate more than 30 different plant systems into Fulcrum’s unique and patented process, said Eric Pryor.


Inside the Sierra BioFuels Plant feedstock preparation unit
Inside the Sierra BioFuels Plant feedstock preparation unit (photo courtesy Fulcrum BioEnergy).

Located outside of Reno, Nevada NV), the Sierra BioFuels Plant includes both a Feedstock Processing Facility and a Biorefinery with the capacity to convert approximately 175 000 tonnes of prepared landfill waste into approximately 11 million (US) gallons (≈ 41.6 million litres) of renewable syncrude annually, which will then be upgraded to renewable transportation fuel.

Fulcrum BioEnergy’s waste-to-fuels plants aim to help address two globally critical and urgent environmental issues simultaneously – the reduction of carbon emissions from the aviation industry and the reduction of waste sent to landfills.

Producing a net-zero carbon, domestic transportation fuel at scale also will reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

Fulcrum is launching an entirely new source of low-cost, domestically produced, net-zero carbon transportation fuel, which will contribute to the aviation industry’s carbon reduction goals, US energy security, and address climate stability, Eric Pryor said.

With its standardized, scalable, and financeable plant approach, the company has positioned its growth program to capitalize on the success of this operation.

Along with Fulcrum’s backing from leading financial investors in renewable infrastructure and industry leaders in the waste, aviation, and energy sectors, Sierra’s operational achievement will serve as a launchpad for Fulcrum’s large development of plants across the United States and internationally.

Fulcrum’s process will produce a fuel that is cost-competitive sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and an alternative to petroleum-based fuel. With a net-zero carbon score and the ability to be produced in large volumes, our sustainable aviation fuel will have an impact on addressing climate change. We are eager to get this fuel into the market and into the hands of our airline partners, ended Eric Pryor.

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