Thursday, June 30, 2005

At an Energy Tech Investor Conference and Senate Passed Energy Bill

It’s a very busy week here in San Francisco: I am currently at the second annual Energy Tech Investor Conference. Stay tuned tomorrow for some highlights from the conference. In the meanwhile, you have undoubtedly already seen that the Senate passed a new energy bill yesterday. You also probably know that there is work to be done before the House and Senate can come to agreement in this respect. That said, and while the drivers for Cleantech generally are not regulatory or politically driven, these key provisions, if implemented, should benefit Cleantech VC’s:
  • 10% RPS: new requirements to produce 10 percent of generated electricity from renewable sources by 2020
  • Clean coal: a new 20 percent investment tax credit for clean coal facilities and a new 20 percent investment tax credit for coal gasification units that produce fuels and chemicals; Tax breaks, loans and credits to companies for technology to voluntarily reduce carbon dioxide emissions - such projects may include coal gasification and carbon sequestration
  • Ethanol: a requirement for refiners to use 8 billion gallons of ethanol by 2012


Anonymous Anonymous said...

MKCR as pre-treatment in biomass conversion systems

Biomass is a term applied for most lingocellulosic materials amongst which use of post harvest straw wastes from rice and wheat cultivation is of great importance due to pressures to find alternatives to burning as a way of getting rid of the waste. Rice and wheat straws contain high to medium levels of silica, which causes problems in many energy recovery systems. Their usage in paper manufacture is subject to the limitation of black liquor effluent, not amenable to conventional and other experimental recovery processes. This has hampered the growth of straw based paper manufacture all over the world. Now they have an alternative technology - Modified Kraft Chemical Recovery Process (MKCR).

MKCR process is economical, due to near complete chemical recovery achieved with net zero pollution level, since almost all useful chemicals are recovered. MKCR yields up to 85% caustic soda recovery already proven in more than 4 year pilot trials, and also yields silica as dry precipitate, besides lime recovery and recovery of energy in the waste lignin which is used to power a Co-Gen boiler generating electricity and heat from steam condensate for process use.

This chemical and energy recovery alone will enable early recouping MKCR equipment costs, besides making the overall process environmentally friendly, efficient in energy and material resources usage.

MKCR enables quality paper production
The most interesting product is the clean cellulose almost free of lignin. It can be a starting material for making good quality paper with up to 90% substitution of long fibres with straw fibre. There is a definite improvement in paper quality seen due to complete removal of lignin, giving rise to better strength, whiteness and other characteristics, which make for good quality paper. It also requires less bleaching chemicals at the penultimate stage to render the desired whiteness.
This has already been proven in 4-year pilot trial plant and now is ready for commercialisation.

MKCR enables low cost ethanol production
After hydrolysation into simple carbohydrate (sugar), can be further converted to ethanol with possible higher efficiencies and yield. This requires pilot plant trials.

MKCR offers clean, low cost cellulose for the production biodegradable plastics. This requires pilot plant trials.

Hence rice, wheat straws can be processed at pulping plants with MKCR recovery systems at farming locations, which generate substantial quantities of post harvest straw waste. For rice straws, there is 56% volume reduction at the pulping stage itself. The clean cellulose in dehydrated form can become a commodity like long fibre pulp of recycled or other origin materials which can then be economically transported over long distances to production centres manufacturing materials like paper, ethanol, biodegradable plastics to name a few, as per market requirements. A schematic view of the overall process is given in a diagram.

This technology is being first commercialised in a start up project to make quality paper out of waste rice, wheat straws, in India. The project cost is 12 million $, debt: equity:: 1:1. Venture equity is welcome.Profits from paper making will help underwrite R&D costs of making ethanol out of waste rice, wheat straws. Detailed Business plan available.

R. Santhanam
Vice President
Amrit International Limited
204, Ideal House, 69, Nehru Place, New Delhi - 110 019, India
E mail:
Tel: 00 91 11 51607026/27
Fax: 00 91 11 26443695

5:54 AM  

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