FAQs
  Because of the high national demand for renewable clean diesel for use in trucks, buses and agricultural equipment, the fuel we will be making at our plants is Torqazine-D, a superior renewable diesel fuel. Torqazine-D is an advanced synthetic diesel fuel made from renewable feedstock (at Pine Ridge, from food waste and other municipal solid waste, crop residue, woody biomass, agricultural waste). Torqazine-D will qualify for the petroleum diesel transportation fuel specification, ASTM D975, and can be used as a drop-in fuel in all diesel engines. It requires no modifications to engine, power train, or other fueling equipment. Testing will verify that Torqazine-D has almost double the cetanes of fossil diesel: 60 – 80, compared to 40 – 53 for ordinary diesel. It has virtually the same energy density (Btu’s) of fossil diesel, and thus virtually the same mileage per gallon, compared to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel #2. However, carbon emissions from Torqazine-D are greatly reduced. Unlike fossil diesel, Torqazine-D has virtually zero sulfur (less than 5 parts per million) or volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). Unlike bio-diesel (which has a low cloud point), Torqazine-D is a great cold weather fuel. The agricultural community in America’s breadbasket suffers from a chronic diesel shortage. The output of renewable diesel from our plants will go a long way towards mitigating this problem. Each of our plants will produce quality syngases from two processes: anaerobic digestion of agricultural wastes and wet food wastes, and high temperature gasification of dry waste materials, including wood, paper, used carpet, tires and plastics. We will utilize a plasma finish to further process resistant tars and chars from tires). The gasification process partially oxidizes the MSW feedstock, creating a synthetic gas consisting primarily of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Carbon dioxide and other acid gases are also formed in lesser concentrations. Downstream of the gasifier is an acid adsorption unit, to separate and collect the CO2. Some of the CO2 is cycled back to create additional CO. Some will be retained for fire retardant. The balance will be compressed and fed to algae. The Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquids (GTL) process was originally developed by German engineers, and utilized during WWII to provide fuel in the absence of domestic supplies of refined gasoline. Following the synloop purification process, our engineers utilize their decades of experience with GTL technology to produce a superior synthetic diesel fuel. The methane produced by the anaerobic digester and the carbon monoxide and hydrogen produced during high temperature gasification, are processed through a Fischer-Tropsch fixed-bed chemical reactor. The final process is hydrocracking to break-up long chain paraffins. EcoTech Fuels will offer here, as elsewhere at our plants, the opportunity for small algae start-ups to utilize the produced CO2 and used process water as feedstocks for algae (which we would otherwise desalinate before using for irrigation). This strategy results in de minimus GHG emissions from our plants. The vitrification of ash from the gasification process allows the conversion of MSW fly ash into non-leachable slag. The vitrified products are then beneficially used as construction material (e.g., aggregate or road fill) This nation’s dependence on fossil fuels has created many serious environmental problems, including global warming, air quality deterioration, oil spills and acid rain. Among the damaging pollutants are produced by fossil fuel combustion are carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and hydrocarbons. In addition, suspended particulates such as nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons combine in the atmosphere to form tropospheric ozone -- the major constituent of smog. Fossil fuel use also produces particulates, including dust, soot, smoke, and other suspended matter, which are respiratory irritants. Particulates are believed to contribute to acid rain formation. A Carnegie Mellon University1 study found that vehicular air pollution causes more fatalities than do traffic accidents. Torqazine-D has the potential to dramatically alter this equation. It is entirely possible that within the next 15 years, Torqazine-D could be a standard fuel for the nation’s trucks, buses and farm equipment. Because this superior diesel fuel is virtually identical to conventional diesel, Torqazine-D can be used in any diesel engine with no engine modification required. According to the EPA, municipal solid waste landfills are the largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for about 34% of these emissions. A study of 1990 methane and carbon dioxide emissions from landfills in Hawaii shows that each ton of MSW in place in a landfill emits about 6 pounds of methane and 16.7 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year2. If EcoTech Fuels is successful in converting 155 million tons of landfill trash into Torqazine-D (per year), this would result in the reduction of approximately 465,000 tons of methane and 1,294,500 tons of carbon dioxide discharged into the atmosphere every year. According to the EPA Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator3, This would be equal to: 1) removing 1,496,265 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere, 2) taking 2,211,266 passenger cars off the road for an entire year, or 3) not burning about 1.2 billion gallons of gasoline per year. We believe that partnerships with communities benefit everyone. At the Pine Ridge plant, for example, we will create good new jobs with great benefits and opportunities for advancement for motivated employees. ETF will return to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, a percentage of after-tax profits to be used for children’s after-school programs and other humanitarian and environmental remediation projects as mutually agreed to by ETF and the Tribe. We will provide scholarships for motivated high school students. We want to grow our own talent in the communities we serve! ETF will give the Tribal Council right of first refusal to preferentially-priced supplies of superior, clean diesel for school buses, sanitation trucks and other municipal vehicles – providing significant cost savings to the Tribe. What can we do for your community? Ash? The only “waste” product produced by the process is vitreous slag, which is valued by architects when added to cement. It is also useful in road building and pothole fill. Smoke? Because the gasification process is closed-loop (the opposite of incineration or pyrolysis), no smoke of any kind is produced. Odor? Waste material will be delivered INSIDE the fully-enclosed intake facility. Odor will be minimal. Because waste will no longer be dumped at the current landfill(s), odor currently being produced by the sitting trash at the landfill will be eliminated. The plant’s existence will result in reduced odor. Noise? The total noise produced in the area will be approximately the same, only the trucks will be bringing the waste to the plant, not to the landfill. There will be more truck traffic than is currently the case. However, this is not a residential area, but a landfill site. Waste water? No contact water will be discharged. Water used for steam will be reused as many times as possible and then used for cooling. When no longer needed for cooling, the water will used to feed algae. Greenhouse Gas Emissions? Because our processes are fully enclosed, our plants are very low sources of greenhouse gas emissions. An exhaustive study of waste conversion facilities worldwide conducted by UC Riverside proved that emissions from waste conversion facilities are extremely minimal, far less than a similar ethanol plant or refinery. In fact, our plants will reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions produced in the community, because we prevent aging garbage from being landfilled. Methane produced by aging landfill is one of the most damaging greenhouse gases – three times more damaging than CO2. Our engineering partner, Plant Process Equipment (“PPE”) has a 34-year track record of successfully designing and building synfuel plants. These plants encompass a broad range of processes. Products produced by the plants include: diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, LPG, methanol, ethanol, ammonia, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and a host of specialty gases. Feed stocks have been from various waste streams, including hog manure, corn, fermentation off-gas, poultry rendering plants and animal fats. Many of these projects incorporate process designs that were developed by, and are proprietary to PPE. At Smithfield Farms’ request, PPE designed a solution for the scrap animal fats and other biowastes produced at its Cleburne, TX operations. The result was a conversion facility to transform Smithfield Farms’ biowastes into pure biodiesel.

Transforming Biowastes into Biodiesel
Smithfield Farms, Cleburne, Texas

1 Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, September, 2002.
2 State of Hawaii, Hawaii Greenhouse Gas Inventory, 1990.
3 This can be found at http://www.usctcgateway.net/tool/.