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BP and Johnson Matthey license Fischer Tropsch technology to Fulcrum BioEnergy

In the United States (US), BP and Johnson Matthey (JM) have announced the signing of the first licensing agreement for their Fischer Tropsch (FT) technology that will support Fulcrum’s production of biojet fuel from municipal solid waste (MSW). Fulcrum will use the BP and JM technology in its new Sierra BioFuels Plant outside Reno in Storey County, Nevada.

According to a statement, BP and JM have developed a simple-to-operate and cost-advantaged FT technology that can operate both at large and small scale to economically convert synthesis gas, generated from sources such as municipal solid waste (MSW) and other renewable biomass, into long-chain hydrocarbons suitable for the production of diesel and jet fuels.

We have been following BP and Johnson Matthey’s progress for several years, including the demonstrated performance and reliability of their innovative design. We are pleased to partner with them and license this improved FT technology for our Sierra BioFuels Plant. The BP/JM technology enhances the value of Fulcrum’s process for converting waste to low-carbon, drop-in fuels. We look forward to working with BP and JM as we build out our large development program, said Jim Macias, President, and CEO, Fulcrum BioEnergy.

Fulcrum will use the BP and JM technology in its new Sierra BioFuels Plant and will be the first commercial-scale plant in the US to convert municipal solid waste (MSW) feedstock, into a low-carbon, renewable transportation fuel.

Through our partnership with Johnson Matthey, we have developed a robust high-quality technology built on great science and great engineering. Our technology can help deliver innovative low carbon fuels that can play an important role in the energy transition. We see this first license as a stepping stone to other similar opportunities, said Angelo Amorelli, BP’s technology vice-president of group research.

When the plant begins commercial operation, planned for the first quarter of 2020, Sierra is expected to convert approximately 175 000 tons of household garbage into approximately 11 million (US) gallons (≈ 41.6 million litres) of fuel annually.

JM is a leader in science that makes the world cleaner and healthier and in bringing this latest technology to market, we continue to apply our expertise to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges. We are delighted that Fulcrum has selected this technology to support their ambitions in supplying renewable fuels at significant scale. This is an important step in decarbonising transportation fuels and we will continue to use our science and engineering skills to facilitate wider adoption of this technology, Eugene McKenna, Business Development and Innovation Director at JM.

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