Backers test gasification project in Utah on coal/wood pellets

Stratean Inc. (OTCQB: SRTN) on Dec. 10 announced the successful trial operation on Utah coal of its patented “stratified downdraft gasification system.” 

Stratean has completed preliminary development and begun the pilot-scale testing of a gasifier for processing various waste materials/carbonaceous feedstocks into a clean synthesis gas. Using various catalysts, the clean synthesis gas (syn-gas) may then be converted into high-grade synthetic liquid transportation fuels such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel or other useful chemicals and may also be used as fuel to create electricity.

Petersen Inc. of Ogden, Utah, manufactured the Stratean gasifier, and has verified the mechanical operation of the gasifier. It has been assisting throughout the testing of the gasifier.

The current project is separated into individual tasks to demonstrate and evaluate the Stratean gasifier using coal and wood pellets as a feedstock. The results of the project will also provide direction and insights as to whether additional testing of the gasifier is required prior to commercial deployment. Combustion Resources Inc. and Utah State University are in the process of performing the tests, analyzing the data and test results, and will generate a final independent project report.

On Nov. 24 and again on Dec. 1, personnel from Stratean, Combustion Resources, Utah State University and Endigit Inc. performed  preliminary test runs and analysis of the 30-tons per day stratified downdraft gasifier. These tests were performed at the USU Carbon Energy Innovation Center in Helper, Utah.

The reaction commenced at approximately 700 degrees C (1,300 degrees F), escalating to 1,650 degrees C (3,002 degrees F) in less than seven minutes, positively exceeding the anticipated exothermic reaction temperature assumptions. The reactor continued operating under the high temperature conditions. For about three hours following shutdown, the reactor core maintained a temperature exceeding 800 degrees C (1,372 degrees F), further demonstrating the properties of a patented ceramic refractory lining.

The production gases and other products were collected, analyzed and flared. Ignition and combustion of the production gas was visually verified at the flare. The flared gas produced a clear flame during optimal reaction temperatures. The gases produced were analyzed via the gas analyzer provided by Combustion Resources.

The feedstock used for the tests consisted of high-grade steam coal sourced locally from the Skyline Mine. Approximately 400 lbs of coal was processed and consumed in the reactor which produced a dry fly ash of approximately 10 lbs. During the Dec. 1 test, wood pellets were used to establish baselines for that particular feedstock.

Next steps include performing a tear-down, inspection and analysis of the physical components of the system and replace/repair/upgrade components as needed. Also there is a need to verify system operation and calibrations, perform intermediate run testing and draft an intermediate testing report.

“We were guardedly optimistic for this initial run, having worked extensively with our engineering team. To say that the results, operation and cleanliness were a success would be a massive understatement,” stated Michael Barrett, Stratean’s Chief Operations Officer. “Based on the preliminary results, post-process ‘gas-cleanup’ appears to be totally unnecessary, exactly as we’d anticipated.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.