ABSL is an engineering services company and project developer specialising in the production of advanced biofuels.
Who We Are
ABSL owns plants, licenses technology and provides engineering services to projects specialising in the production of advanced biofuels.
We are the licensor of the RadGas technology which offers very high efficiency, reliable syngas production from waste and biomass residues. In addition, we provide design and consultancy services to engineering contractors, developers and owners of advanced biofuel facilities.
We are currently developing the world’s first plant to convert household waste into bio-substitute natural gas (BioSNG). The facility, located in Swindon, UK, will convert 8,000 tonnes of waste into 22GWh of gas each year. Once it is operational in 2020, it will provide a commercial demonstration of the RadGas technology.
ABSL believes that wastes should be converted to fuels such as BioSNG, hydrogen or kerosene to decarbonise heat and transport. Our solutions allow the carbon dioxide in waste to be captured so that it can be sequestrated. This creates negative carbon emissions essential for the world to meet its two-degree global warming target.
ABSL was established in March 2019 by commercial and technical experts in the advanced biofuel sector. We are a private company backed by investment funds and high net worth individuals.
What We Do
ABSL operates in the following areas:
- Developing advanced biofuel plants
- Licensing the RadGas technology
- Providing engineering design and consultancy
ABSL understands the challenges of developing advanced biofuel projects. Building a robust business case, agreeing off-take agreements, securing a contractor willing to provide appropriate guarantees and raising finance are all difficult in a developing sector.
We develop relationships with all the stakeholders that are required to move projects from concept to financial close. Our experience from the BioSNG plant has taught us what it takes to bring a vision to life. We support good quality projects with a solid business case.
Engineering Design and Consultancy
The ABSL team have more than twenty years of combined experience solving the challenges of converting waste and biomass residues into biofuels. Our areas of expertise include:
- Characterising wastes and understanding how those characteristics will vary over time
- Waste and biomass storage and transport
- Gasification and pyrolysis
- Tar reformation
- Syngas cleaning
- Catalytic conversion of syngas into hydrogen, BioSNG, liquid fuels and propane
We will work with engineering contractors, developer and owners in the following areas:
- Business case development
- Planning and permitting applications
- Overall advanced biofuel system design
- Gasification and tar reformation system design
ABSL takes a collaborative approach to working with our partners to ensure that we have a good understanding of their requirements and focus our attention on solving their problems.
Our team has worked for major international energy corporations, large engineering consultants and speciality chemical companies.
Licensing of RadGas Technology
The RadGas technology offers reliable, high efficiency conversion of waste and biomass residues into a clean syngas that is free of tars and particulates. The syngas is suitable for conversion into fuels such as hydrogen, methane, dimethyl ether, kerosene or diesel.
ABSL welcomes discussions on licensing RadGas to individual projects.
Licences would incorporate engineering support for the technology and access to the extensive know-how developed through our experience on the BioSNG commercial demonstration plant. Our BioSNG plant provides a platform for training operations and maintenance teams.
The ABSL team have more than twenty years of combined experience solving the challenges of converting waste and biomass residues into biofuels.
ABSL owns the RadGas technology which offers a highly efficient, reliable process to convert waste and biomass residues into a synthesis gas free of tars and particulates.
Key challenges in the gasification of waste are:
- maintaining an even temperature in the gasifier
- preventing bed agglomeration
- maintaining conditions that allow tar reformation
- preventing the build-up of ash that may foul or block equipment
RadGas solves these issues by using a two-stage approach combining a conventional gasifier that converts feedstock into a dirty, tar-laden syngas with a catalytic chamber that breaks down those tars using oxygen free-radicals to catalyse the reformation reactions. The tar-free syngas is then cooled using a waste heat boiler and passed through a filter system to remove any residual particulates.
Overall the process is omnivorous and will produce a good quality syngas from any biomass waste, fossil waste or biomass feedstock.
The typical scale of a RadGas line is 60MW of thermal input – around 175,000 tonnes per annum of household waste. Larger demands can be met by multiple lines operating in parallel.
There is growing demand from governments and consumers for low carbon fuels for heat and transport. RadGas is a key technology in enabling the production of these fuels.
ABSL licenses the RadGas technology to third parties for a specific project in a specific plant.
Advantages of the RadGas Approach
- It has been demonstrated in pilot plants with more than 3,500 hours of operation
- The process combines established technologies that are available from large scale, reputable suppliers
- Tars are reformed into carbon monoxide and hydrogen rather than simply scrubbed from the gas improving the efficiency of the process
- The catalyst reduces the temperature required for complete tar reformation optimising efficiency
RadGas has been demonstrated to work on the following feedstocks:
- Dried refuse derived fuel produced from household waste in a material recycling facility
- Dried biomass residues such as corn stover or sugarcane bagasse
- Shredded wood
- Auto-shredder residue
- Tyre crumb
- Used cooking oil
RadGas versus Incineration
RadGas is a more flexible and environmentally friendly technology for waste processing than incineration. The key differences between RadGas and incineration are:
- RadGas plants produce fuels as well as electricity. Advanced biofuel plants offer higher revenues than power.
- RadGas facilities produce no emissions to air. There is no stack, there are no particulate emissions and no dioxins.
- RadGas plants have minimal visual impact. They are designed to look like a standard industrial unit.
- RadGas equipment can be fabricated off-site resulting in lower capital costs than incinerators.
- The RadGas process can produce valuable by-products – recyclates, carbon dioxide and vitrified ash.
The BioSNG Plant
The BioSNG Plant is the first facility in the world to convert household waste into grid quality bio-substitute natural gas (BioSNG). ABSL is the owner and technical lead of the project.
The facility will accept 8,000 tonnes per year of waste from the local area and convert it into 22GWh, or 2.2 million cubic metres, of natural gas, enough to heat 1,800 homes or fuel 75 HGVs.
The plant will also produce 6,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide to be liquified for use in industry and 400 tonnes of vitrified ash for use as an aggregate.
The process is made up of the following steps:
- Prepared waste is brought to the site in a moving floor trailer and then stored
- The waste is conveyed to an oxy-steam fluidised bed gasifier to produce a dirty syngas
- The dirty syngas is heated and exposed to oxygen free radicals to catalyse the reformation of tar
- The tar free syngas is cooled with steam raised used elsewhere in the process
- The gas is filtered to remove particulates and then scrubbed to remove acid and alkali contaminants
- The clean syngas is compressed and then passed over catalysts to convert it into natural gas and carbon dioxide
- The carbon dioxide is separated and liquified
- The remaining natural gas is metered into the grid
The process equipment has been installed on site and mechanical and electrical integration is underway. Commissioning is due to complete in the second half of 2020. Once it is operational the plant will act as a template for large scale commercial facilities.