Biomass flow reactor will turn waste into fuel


Tuesday, 18 August, 2020


Biomass flow reactor will turn waste into fuel

Perth-based company Epichem, an expert in the field of synthetic and medicinal chemistry, has announced that it is developing a biomass benchtop flow reactor with the potential to turn a wide range of waste and biomass feedstock into valuable fuels, fine chemicals, liquid fertiliser and ethanol.

Planned to be carbon neutral and environmentally sustainable, the benchtop flow reactor will use oxygen and water at high temperature and pressure to break down solid items. It will have the potential to convert:

  • plastics into renewable fuels
  • coal into diesel or fertilisers
  • rubber tyres into liquid fuels
  • trees into cellulosic ethanol
  • leftover stock or crops into liquid fuel.
     

The technology used in the flow reactor could also be used to enhance the process of carbon storage in soils. It will also help with hydrocarbons and drill mud.

“There are so many things the flow reactor will be able to convert — we are excited to learn more of its capabilities and applications,” said Epichem Chief Executive Colin La Galia.

La Galia said the flow reactor could solve the problem of what to do with the waste produced in Western Australia, and that Epichem has received “a lot of interest from local government in terms of reducing waste sustainably”.

“The flow reactor will [also] help support Australia’s focus on sovereign capability to produce our own ethanol for our PPE requirements, including the manufacture of hand sanitiser,” he added.

“It has the ability to support and sustain industries, provide innovative, disruptive technology in Australia, can be scaled up for a range of industry partners and create employment opportunities in Australia moving forward.”

Epichem is currently seeking support and investment to create the benchtop flow reactor.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/tashatuvango

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