Energy Center for the conversion of biomass to transportation fuels.
The renewable energy center, to be built in Rialto, Calif., will convert biomass, such as yard
and tree trimmings, into renewable, ultra-clean diesel fuel and renewable electricity. The new
facility will use UOP hydroprocessing technology, which converts hydrocarbons into clean-fuel
products. The center is expected to produce roughly 640 barrels-per-day of liquid fuel and 35
megawatts of base-load electricity, enough to power approximately 30,000 homes each day.
In August 2009, eight airlines signed a multi-year agreement with Rentech to together
purchase up to 1.5 million gallons per year of diesel from the Rialto Project for use in ground
service equipment at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The Rialto Project is scheduled to
start up in late 2012.
“Our technology helps Rentech to produce high-quality, ultra-clean transport fuels, meeting
all product standards with a near-zero carbon footprint,” said UOP Business Director for Refining
Ashis Banerji. “The Rialto Project is an important step in increasing capacity of clean fuels from
“We are pleased to add a well recognized technology provider such as UOP to the suite of
technologies to be deployed at our Rialto Project, said Timothy DeFoe, Project Director for the
Rialto Renewable Energy Center. “The Rialto Project continues to advance, with FEED engineering
work well under way. The project, anticipated to be the nation’s first commercial biomass
In the new unit the Rentech-SilvaGas biomass gasification system will be used to produce
synthesis gas, or syngas, from biomass feedstock which is converted to ultra-clean hydrocarbons
using Rentech’s proprietary Fischer-Tropsch process and catalyst. The UOP Unionfining™ process
and the UOP Unicracking™ process are then used to upgrade the hydrocarbons to ultra-clean jet
and diesel fuel as well as specialty waxes and chemicals.
Honeywell’s UOP business, a recognized global leader in process technology to convert
petroleum feedstocks to fuels and chemicals, has also developed a range of processes to produce
high-quality, drop-in green fuels from natural feedstocks. Since 2006, UOP has commercialized
processes to convert non-edible natural oils to Honeywell Green Diesel™ and Honeywell Green Jet
Fuel™. It has also established Envergent Technologies, a joint venture with Ensyn Corp. which
offers pyrolysis technology for the production of renewable heat, power and transportation fuels
from biomass sources such as forest and agricultural waste.