Fulcrum has developed and demonstrated a proprietary thermochemical process that converts municipal solid waste, or MSW, feedstock into low-carbon renewable transportation fuels including jet fuel and diesel. Our process has been reviewed by numerous third parties including independent engineers, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Our process begins with the gasification of the organic material in the MSW feedstock to a synthesis gas (syngas) which consists primarily of carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This syngas is purified and processed through the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process to produce a syncrude product which is then upgraded to jet fuel or diesel.
The feedstock used in Fulcrum’s process will consist primarily of the organic material recovered from the MSW. This MSW will be delivered to our Feedstock Processing Facilities by waste services companies where it will be processed in order to extract commercially recyclable material and inorganic waste before delivering a prepared MSW feedstock to the Biorefinery. The prepared organic material will be shredded and fed into the gasification system. Our Feedstock Processing Facilities will utilize commercially available waste processing equipment and systems that are currently in use throughout the waste industry.
Fulcrum has licensed from ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. a highly efficient and economic gasification system for the conversion of the MSW feedstock to syngas. During the gasification process, the prepared MSW feedstock rapidly heats up upon entry into the steam-reforming gasifier and almost immediately converts to syngas. A venturi scrubber captures and removes any entrained particulate, and the syngas is further cooled in a packed gas cooler scrubber. The cleaned syngas is then processed through an amine system to capture and remove sulfur and carbon dioxide. The syngas then enters the secondary gas clean-up section that contains compression to increase syngas to the pressure required by the FT process. The end syngas product is very clean with zero sulfur content.
The FT portion of Fulcrum’s process is an adaptation of the well-established Fischer-Tropsch process which has been in commercial operations for decades. In the FT process, the purified syngas is processed through a fixed-bed tubular reactor where it reacts with a proprietary catalyst to form three intermediate FT products, a Heavy Fraction FT Liquids (HFTL) product, a Medium Fraction FT Liquids (MFTL) product and a Light Fraction FT Liquids (LFTL) product, commonly called Naphtha. The Naphtha is recycled to the partial oxidation unit with remaining tail gas to be reformed to hydrogen and carbon monoxide. We have demonstrated our FT process using fixed-bed tubular reactors identical in size to those that will be deployed at our plants.
In the last step, hydrotreating, hydrocracking and hydroisomerization upgrading steps are used to upgrade the combined HFTL and MFTL products into jet fuel.