Alternative transportation fueling, including natural gas variations and biodiesel, is making strides across the country, taking technology to advanced levels.
The most complex scheme recently announced is a project by Salt Lake City-based Ruby Mountain, which is developing a bridge between economical biogas and small-scale liquefaction technologies. The $12-20 million project aims to produce up to 10,000 gallons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) during the next two to three years.
The project involves taking biogas from cows in Utah, California or elsewhere, liquefying it into LNG, and fueling trucks at a station in Fresno, CA. The company has a $470,000 grant with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Valley Air) in California to support development and construction of equipment to purify and compress biogas. Ruby Mountain has partners for both the biogas and the small-scale liquefaction technologies — California-based Go2 Water and Pennsylvania-based LNG Energy Solutions.
Meanwhile, Apache Corp. has opened a compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in the Houston Galleria shopping district. CEO Steve Farris joined 150 guests and officials at the event that was used to demonstrate a number of CNG-powered vehicles along with the newest fueling facility, one of 20 built by Apache covering four states. This and five other Apache CNG stations are open to the general public; the rest have been developed for exclusive use of fleet operators.
In Canada, Hamilton, Ontario-based Biox Corp. has reached an agreement with Shell Canada Ltd. to supply biodiesel to satisfy a new national requirement for 2% use of renewable fuels. The two companies said they will share the cost of building a connecting pipeline between the Biox facility in Hamilton and Shell’s adjacent distribution terminal. The connection should be complete some time later this year, a Biox spokesperson said.
Biox’s facility has a nameplate capacity of nearly 18 million (U.S.) gallons annually, and it claims to apply a two-step proprietary, patented single-phase continuous process for producing biodiesel at atmospheric pressures and near-ambient temperatures.
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