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Posts tagged “Choren”

By Robert Rapier on Jul 8, 2011 with 105 responses

What Happened at Choren?

If you have not heard by now, Choren Industries has begun bankruptcy proceedings. For those who don’t know, since 2009 I have worked as the technology advisor for the major investor and primary funding source for Choren’s day-to-day operations. I have just returned from a visit to their plant in Freiberg, Germany. Due to the nature of my relationships with my employer and with Choren, I have to be guarded about what I say. To be clear, I do not work for Choren, and thus am not writing this as a Choren spokesman of any sort. But I do want to shed a bit more light on the situation. First of all, to give a bit of background on Choren,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Nov 5, 2009 with no responses

Merica Acquires Majority Stake in Choren

Today it was announced that my new company, Merica International, has acquired Shell’s stake in Choren Industries. This is something we have been actively pursuing for some time. This transaction gives Merica a great deal more flexibility than we had previously. The primary reason for the acquisition is that it gives us freedom to pursue the projects we want to pursue. While I have the greatest respect for Shell, our interests obviously would not always align with theirs. We are first and foremost a bioenergy company, and that is not their core business. Further, if Choren wanted to make any major capital expenditures, it hinged on getting Shell’s agreement. As Shell is in a major cost-cutting mode, a lot of… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 3, 2009 with no responses

Answering Reader Questions 2009: Part 2

In this installment, I continue to work my way through the list of questions recently submitted by readers. This post picks up where Part 1 left off, and covers coal-to-liquids, technology hype, green gasoline, refining improvements, allocation of money toward renewables, electricity consumption, the Automotive X Prize, Big Oil, cellulosic ethanol, and Exxon’s recent algae announcement. The Questions Benny wrote: Arlington researchers’ work could lead to $35-a-barrel oil. Any chance of making oil from lignite? At these prices? Or are they just some guys who want research money? Answer takchess wrote (and Doug also asked about): Thought this was interesting. If cost and technically feasible this would be cool. Rive Technology Working to Increase Oil Refining Efficiency 7-9% by 2011… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 12, 2009 with no responses

Rentech Announces BTL Plant

Still on vacation, but an interesting announcement yesterday by Rentech: Rialto Project Our proposed Rialto Renewable Energy Center (Rialto Project) will be located in Rialto, California. The facility is designed to produce approximately 600 barrels per day of pure renewable synthetic fuels and export approximately 35 megawatts of renewable electric power. The renewable power is expected to qualify under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program, which requires utilities to increase the amount of electric power they sell from qualified renewable-energy resources. The plant will be capable of providing enough electricity for approximately 30,000 homes. Rentech has entered into a licensing agreement with SilvaGas Corporation for the biomass gasification technology for the Rialto facility. Rentech’s proprietary technology for the conditioning and… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 17, 2009 with no responses

Renewable Diesel Primer

Given the recent news that biodiesel has caused buses in Minnesota to malfunction in cold weather, I thought this would be a good time to review the differences between diesel, biodiesel, and green diesel. In order to explain the key issues, I am going to excerpt from the chapter on renewable diesel that I wrote for Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems: Benefits and Risks. First, what happened in Minnesota? Biodiesel fuel woes close Bloomington schools All schools in the Bloomington School District will be closed today after state-required biodiesel fuel clogged in school buses Thursday morning and left dozens of students stranded in frigid weather, the district said late Thursday. Rick Kaufman, the district’s spokesman, said elements… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 3, 2008 with no responses

Visit to New Choren BTL Plant

Figure 1. Choren BTL Production Process. (Source: Choren) Introduction I had to dig way back in my Gmail archives to figure out how it was that I first interacted with Choren. I had written several articles on biomass gasification in 2006, and when I announced that I would be moving to Scotland in early 2007, I received an e-mail from Dr. David Henson at Choren. David, at that time in Business Development at Choren and now the President of Choren USA, said he had been reading the blog, and he extended an invitation to visit the biomass-to-liquids (BTL) plant that Choren was building in Freiberg, Germany. While I tentatively planned to visit several times while I was living in Scotland,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 18, 2008 with no responses

Trip to Germany

Been in Germany today, visiting Choren. I will write something up on that trip soon. They have built a Cadillac of a BTL plant in Freiburg. Very impressive. This was my first trip to Germany since I lived there from 1999 to 2001. Things have changed. Germany is covered up with wind turbines. They must have been installing those things like mad. I plan to do a little research and report on that. One thing I noticed: The turbines always turned clockwise. I had thought they were reversible. I am traveling to the U.S. tomorrow. I am in Dallas on Saturday, Louisiana on Sunday, returning to Dallas on Monday afternoon, then off to Montana on Thursday (to see my kids… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Feb 28, 2008 with no responses

Green Job Opportunities

Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to “make a difference” by making a significant contribution to society. I have a soft spot for families and especially for kids, and I really wanted to contribute toward the quality of life for those groups. A big concern is that quality of life for a large segment of the world’s population, never good to begin with, is poised for further deterioration as fossil fuel supplies deplete. Quality of life to me starts with the basics: People have enough food and clean water, they have shelter, they live and work in safe conditions, and they have adequate access to affordable energy. At various stages of my life I have had involvement… Continue»