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You are here: > News > January 11, 2012

Power from CO2 and Fly Ash

By eliminating CO2 emissions, producing fuel, and reclaiming valuable metals from fly ash and flue emissions, MP BioMass offers technological solutions for coal power plants and other CO2 emitters to not only keep them from being shut down but increasing their profit margin.

BioMass plant in Bozza Serbia, the birth nation of Nikola Tesla, was the first plant to go online; engineered by ASP and CNR.

by Hank Mills with Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News

Coal is used across our planet as a source of energy, and has been for a very long time. Among the biggest consumers of coal are traditional power plants that burn it in huge quantities to produce electricity for the power grid. By burning this substance as fuel, these plants emit carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, and produce vast amounts of a waste product called fly ash. Managing carbon dioxide and fly ash can be a challenging task, especially as environmental regulations have become more severe. Many power plants are facing having to shut down due to the huge cost of complying with the regulations.

MP BioMass is a company that offers cutting edge technological solutions to address the issues of CO2 emissions, and fly ash production, providing not only an affordable solution but one that can increase the bottom line.

The technology is based on the engineering of AST and CNR and their partnership with Gima Construction. AST and CNR own the IP and World Wide Patents to this technology, and MP BioMass has been given the right to represent this system to the rest of the world.

Carbon dioxide emissions are alleged to contribute to the green house effect and global warming. To combat the constant increase of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere due to an industrializing and growing global population, nations are considering taking strong measures such as imposing carbon taxes. 

One technological solution that MP Biomass offers is a method of capturing the carbon dioxide from flue gases, to totally eliminate CO2 emissions. This is accomplished via a world-wide patented system that they assert mimics a form of artificial photosynthesis. 

Their "nano-membrane pyro-gasification process" not only extracts CO2 from flue gases, but prevents other pollutants from escaping into the atmosphere. The process also captures oxygen (grade 5), and isolates hydrogen from the flue gases. This allows for the production of methanol and electricity, of which a small portion are used to keep the process going. The amount of methanol produced seems impressive, with 551 gallons being produced from each ton of carbon dioxide captured.

In addition to being produced in large quantities, the methanol is also said to have a very high cetane rating, which is the measure of combustion quality. The methanol produced by MP BioMass's process is asserted to have a cetane rating of sixty or higher, which equates to high grade, premium fuel, able to run in an automobile without modification. 

This is what they had to say about their technology, in regards to the production of high grade fuel.

A system very much like a scrubber, only using configured nano-membrane technology. Plus different fluctuations of temperature, reformed into the holding tank with steam by lowering the temps of the reformation of the syngas, as opposed to the continual raising of the temperature. This allows the for the production of methanol rather than methane, and provides a high Cetane rating of the methanol (60+), which is excellent for biodiesel fuel or internal combustion engines. Our methanol does not need DME to reform or mix with gasoline.

Managing Fly Ash

A product of burning coal is the production of ash. The portion of the ash that travels upwards with the flue gases is called fly ash. In the past, power plants allowed the fly ash to escape into the environment. This was not an environmentally friendly practice due to the fact that fly ash can contain toxic substances such as arsenic, mercury, vanadium, and dioxins. 

In modern times, environmental regulations have required power plants to capture the fly ash before it is released into the environment. The regulations have been successful in that the global average of fly ash captured is around 99%. However, the capture of fly ash has created another problem, which is what to do with the massive amount of it that is produced. A portion of the fly ash is used in various applications. For example, it can be used instead of Portland cement in the process of making concrete. But the majority of the fly ash produced by power plants is either stored on site in ash ponds, or is sent to landfills. 

MP BioMass has developed patented technological systems that can make use of the fly ash. First, their process can recover carbon from the fly ash, which still has a calorific value. They state fly ash may contain 8% to 14% of carbon residue, which can be utilized to produce energy. Secondly, their process removes heavy metals and toxins from the waste which makes it a more environmentally friendly substance. Finally, they are able to extract valuable ferrous and non-ferrous metal deposits from the fly ash, which have value. 

Basically, the result of this processing of fly ash are that energy is produced, toxins are removed, and valuable metals are extracted. Instead of simply being put into a landfill, the fly ash serves a practical and economic purpose.

But Fly Ash isn't the only feedstock they can process. The technology can also be applied to biomass, such as agriculture waste and animal waste.

Proven Technology

The technology of MP Biomass, researched and engineered in southern Italy, appears not to be in the prototype stage, but is actually being utilized as we speak. "Millions and millions" have already been spent getting the technology to this stage. As an example of the maturity of the technology, a photograph of a plant in Serbia (birthplace of Tesla) using their technology is shown above. It has been in operation since 2003. The company also claims to have three smaller plants in Italy utilizing their technology. In all, there are around ten plants presently in operation. And they hope to be able to build them at a rate of 7-8 systems a month.

In fact, the company is also preparing to construct and operate a 10MW plant at the "Paul Smith's College Project" in upstate New York. They have the construction plans drawn up. They are now seeking the permits needed. Due to the fact the plant would produce "zero" carbon emissions, they expect approval process should not take too long. Once constructed and in operation, the plant is expected to pay for itself in three years or less. 

A huge, two gigawatt plant using the technology has been purchased from MP Biomass. It will be located in Saudi Arabia, and is expected to be completed in 2015.

Their technology seems to have quite a few benefits when it comes to reliability and economics. The ROI (return on investment) is expected to be under seven years for almost any size of plant, however it could be less than that in some cases (such as the upcoming plant in New York). It seems obvious the fairly rapid return on investment is due to the electricity, high grade fuel, and valuable metals the system can produce. All these commodities can then be sold on the market, which will generate income that will pay for the plant.

The plants also require no shutdown time for maintenance. When asked about the lifespan of a plant, it was stated the parts (manufactured by Siemens) have a 45-50 year lifespan, and a warranty will be provided with the purchase of a system.

When it comes to the installation of the technology, they offer a prefabricated system that can be transported by flat bed truck or train. Once shipped (which takes approximately 30 days), a system can be built in 120 days. They estimate the total time required for such a system to become operational is 22 months. The fact they have permits in place with some energy companies can help this process along. When a permit is not already existing, they don't expect obtaining a permit will take too long, since "zero" carbon emissions are coming from the system, "guaranteed". 

The cost of building a 20 MW system (producing twenty megawatts of electrical power) is approximately 210 million dollars, but is said to pay for itself in 5-7 years. This breaks down to 10.5 million dollars per megawatt. Of course this is only the cost of building the system, and does not include whatever payments are required to be made to MP BioMass by the customer. 


Unlike, for example, Andrea Rossi's E-Cat technology, MP BioMass is not offering a technology that can eliminate fossil fuel usage, or revolutionize energy production. Instead, they are offering a way to minimize the negative issues involved in burning coal, and maximize the profit making potential of conventional power plants -- while protecting the environment at the same time!

Despite the hope that truly exotic energy technologies will proliferate across the world in the near future, it may not happen immediately. Until then, the technologies offered by MP BioMass could allow for humanity to reap the following many benefits...

  • The ability to eliminate CO2 emissions from coal burning power plants. This could stop the plans of those who support job killing carbon taxes.
  • A way of producing hydrogen, electricity, and methanol fuel from flue gases. What is not used to sustain the process can be sold on the market.
  • The ability to clean the pollutants out of flue gases and fly ash. This makes the material much more environmentally friendly.
  • The ability to extract valuable metals from fly ash, instead of it being wasted.
  • A method of saving space in landfills, by not filling it with potentially toxic ash.
  • A way to create very needed jobs.

While not ending the energy crisis or eliminating the use of fossil fuels, the above benefits are very appealing. With more plants utilizing their technology being built in the coming few years, I think their company will gain more attention. 

Unless there are competitors to MP Biomass who offer similar solutions at lower prices, I think any company that owns coal fired power plants would be silly not to get in touch with them. Personally, I know of no such competitors, do you?

I think these are the kind of stop gap technologies we need, to help civilization continue until more exotic energy technologies arrive.

# # #

This story is also published at BeforeItsNews and Examiner.

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Page composed by Sterling D. Allan
Last updated September 04, 2012




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