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Steeper Energy joins the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials

Denmark-headed hydrothermal liquefaction technology developer Steeper Energy Aps has joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). Through its proprietary "Hydrofaction" process, which utilises supercritical water, Steeper Energy enables the conversion of sustainable biomass and bio-organic waste material into competitive advanced biofuels.

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Rolf Hogan. Executive Director, RSB
“Steeper Energy is ambitious – about their technology and their potential to shape the global response to climate change. Joining the RSB not only underlines that commitment to sustainability but also unlocks the door to our global community where collaboration, learning, and mutual support lifts our members, and our vision, up”, said Rolf Hogan, Executive Director at RSB.

According to a statement, joining RSB represents a major step for Steeper Energy, showcasing its commitment to every aspect of sustainability in the bioeconomy. With a EUR 50 million joint demonstration project with Silva Green Fuels A/S – the first phase of a multi-phase project to transform the site of a former pulp mill in Tofte, Norway into a circa EUR 200 million advanced biofuels production plant – underway, RSB is excited to see Steeper build sustainability into their projects from the ground up.

Proprietary “Hydofaction”

“Hydrofaction” is Steeper Energy’s proprietary implementation of hydrothermal liquefaction which applies supercritical water as a reaction medium for the conversion of biomass directly into a high-energy-density biocrude oil, referred to as “Hydrofaction Oil”. Steeper’s unique process mimics and accelerates nature by subjecting wet biomass to heat and high pressure.

According to Steeper Energy, the process conditions are carefully chosen to promote reaction pathways that favour high yields of high-quality renewable oil. These process conditions, with the operating temperature and pressure well above the critical point of water, and the use of homogeneous catalysts promote chemical reactions which lead to the formation of low-oxygen renewable biocrude oil.

Additionally, recycling of the oil and process water effluent is a unique feature of Hydrofaction which brings synergistic benefits in various parts of the process. Using all the above “sophisticated and unique” features, Steeper Energy says that its Hydrofaction achieves biomass-to-oil conversions of 45 percent on a mass basis and 85 percent on an energy basis.

The Hydrofaction process is at the cusp of commerciality and as it is more fully deployed it will: significantly reducing carbon intensity of the heavy and long-haul transport sector via compliant advanced biofuels through the effective utilisation of forestry, agricultural residues or energy crops, as well as, urban bio-organic waste management. Joining RSB is a critical platform for Steeper Energy to engage with other members and leaders in the sustainable bioeconomy. Our technology has the potential to reduce 5 percent of global GHG emissions at full deployment and as we scale up these connections and learnings will be invaluable to us, said Perry Toms, CEO, Steeper Energy.

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