Related Projects
Our engineers have successfully designed, constructed and operated several innovative synthetic fuel plants utilizing technologies similar to the woody biomass and trash to advanced diesel project for South Dakota. The processes used in these plants were developed by, and are proprietary to PPE and its partner, ETF. The first of these plants used biogas generated by swine farming operations as a feedstock and converted it into 99.9%+ pure methanol.

Pine Ridge Advanced Fuels

The Oglala Sioux Tribe (“OST”) of Pine Ridge, South Dakota asked us for assistance in solving a municipal solid waste management problem, for which it paid $63,000 in fines in 2009 (the Blue Legs case). Our solution will convert the Tribe’s trash and other regional waste into an advanced synthetic diesel fuel: Torqazine-D, and create approximately 70 jobs from chemical engineering managers to blue collar workers. A binding Supply, Sale and Employment Agreement with the OST was unanimously approved by the OST Tribal Council. This Agreement includes supply of MSW, off-take sale of Torqazine-D to the Tribe for use in official trucks, buses and other vehicles, and a provision to employ as many qualified members of the Tribe as reasonably required to operate the facility. Pine Ridge Advanced Synfuels, LLC (the “Plant”) will be located on privately-owned land, several miles off the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The Plant will convert a total of approximately 500 tons per day of beetle-killed woody biomass and regional organic and cellulosic waste, into approximately 1100 barrels per day of Torqazine-D. The Plant is expected to be in full scale commercial operation in 18 - 22 months from project start – by mid-2020.

Converting Animal Waste into Purified Methanol Smithfield Farms, Utah

Smithfield Farms is the largest pork processor in the world. The Utah farm houses 750,000 hogs. Together these animals produce hundreds of tons of waste every day. The question of what to do with these accumulations of animal waste was of considerable interest to the neighbors. Smithfield Farms posed the question to the industry, and selected PPE's proposal as the most likely to achieve success. In response, PPE designed and manufactured a unique system that benefits Smithfield Farms, local residents, and the environment. The system captures and cleans the gasses generated from the detritus. After passing through a PPE-constructed separation system, a steam methane reformer, a reactor with a catalyst, and a distiller, the waste product becomes purified methanol. This process is achieved with nearly zero emissions. Smithfield Farms now has an environmentally safer method for dealing with the copious amounts of hog waste necessarily generated by its operations. It also has a free renewable fuel-methanol-that burns cleaner than gasoline. Smithfield Farms in turn used this methanol in another PPE-constructed facility--its biodiesel plant in Claiborne, Texas. The second plant uses waste animal fat from meat processing facilities and converts it into a high grade bio-diesel.

Transforming Animal Fat into Fuel Smithfield Farms, Cleburne, Texas

Smithfield Farms worked with PPE to design a solution for the scrap animal fats produced through its operations. The result was a biodiesel plant that transforms the fats and other organic matter into biodiesel. Biodiesels are renewable fuels that are cleaner than diesel, but they can be prohibitively expensive to produce when made from expensive soybean oil. However, with the help of PPE, Smithfield Farms is able to produce this desirable fuel in a cost-effective manner. It powers its biodiesel plant on methanol produced from hog waste from its farms, and then uses scrap fats as the biodiesel's base ingredient. With the help of PPE-designed plants, Smithfield Farms efficiently disposes of its waste products, creates more environmentally safe fuels, and earns a tax credit in the process. The third plant utilizes waste cooking oils and grease as a feedstock and converts it to a high grade bio-diesel. More details about these projects will be provided upon request.