News Release

Release Date: January 20, 2016

NETL Carbon Capture Technologies to Be Used in Commercial Biomass-to-Biofuel Conversion Process with Power Generation

Photo courtesy of Noble Foundation. Some rights reserved

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has granted a license for two patented sorbent technologies that capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from streams of mixed gases and enable cleaner, more-efficient energy production from renewable fuels. The license was granted to renewable energy systems developer CogniTek Management Systems through the company’s MG Fuels.

Sorbents are materials that can absorb gases, like CO2, and CogniTek plans to incorporate these sorbent technologies into its integrated biomass-to-biofuels conversion process with power generation. This innovative process includes carbon capture and represents a sustainable solution for distributed power. The liquid biofuels produced by the process can also be used as transportation fuels.

Biofuels are usually derived from corn, but CogniTek plans to use a wide range of plant matter for feedstock, including quick-growing grasses and trees, nuisance crops, and agricultural and commercial waste. Biomass is an abundant domestic resource and may significantly contribute to the renewable fuel market within the next decade.

The CogniTek process will have naturally low carbon emissions because the plants used as feedstock consume CO2 from the atmosphere as part of their growth process. Incorporating the NETL technologies, which employ a regenerable magnesium hydroxide to capture CO2, makes an inherently green process even greener and will result in a near 100 percent “carbon negative” process.

Biomass conversion technologies, such as the CogniTek process, can help produce affordable power using more environmentally friendly methods. That’s why the Energy Department is committed to supporting research focused on making use of biomass resources. And at NETL, researchers like Ranjani Siriwardane, Robert Stevens Jr., and James Fisher II—who invented the sorbent technologies to be used by CogniTek—work every day to develop solutions to the nation’s energy and environmental challenges.

But these new technologies will make a difference only if they’re deployed commercially. To accomplish that goal, NETL is dedicated to transferring newly developed processes and products, like this sorbent technology, from laboratory to the marketplace. To learn more about NETL’s dedication to technology transfer, please visit the laboratory’s technology transfer webpage.