FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What type of feedstock (waste) can Concord Blue Reformers take?
Our versatile process creates clean energy utilizing a variety of waste streams, including municipal solid waste, biomass, sewage, manufacturing waste, plastic waste, sorted hospital waste, agricultural and slaughter waste, and any other organic waste material. Regardless of the feedstock used, we offer a variety of options for the type of output produced. Because Concord Blue plants do not depend on the cost-efficient availability of a single feedstock, our technology has broad, worldwide application.
What can the syngas and other materials produced by the towers be used for?
Our Concord Blue Reformers produce a high-quality syngas, which can be converted into electricity, liquid fuels, chemicals and hydrogen. These products can serve as clean alternatives to the same products produced with polluting fossil fuels. In addition, depending upon the specific configuration, our process creates many desirable byproducts, including biochar, clean water, ash (used in fertilizer and construction), and heat for producing hot water or drying energy.
Do Concord Blue Reformers produce any pollution?
Concord Blue’s closed system reformer technology produces virtually no pollution. Unlike other waste-to-energy processes that rely on incineration of the waste material, Concord Blue Reformers use heat transfer in an oxygen-starved environment to fully convert the feedstock. Using an oxidizer fueled by syngas, char and biodiesel, hot air is created to raise the temperature of the heat carrier balls (“HCB”) that circulate in the system. The oxidizer will release emissions but at a far lower rate compared to outright incineration of waste materials.
Are Concord Blue Reformers expensive to operate?
Cost-effectiveness is built into the Concord Blue system. Concord Blue Reformers operate using an energy-saving, closed-loop process that requires no additional power once the conversion begins. As with any process plant, larger facilities benefit from economies of scale in operations.
What problems does Concord Blue solve with its waste-to-energy technology?
Concord Blue utilizes nearly any organic waste material as a resource to produce clean energy, contributing to global sustainability by helping to reduce our society’s dependence on landfills and fossil fuels. Because Concord Blue can scale up or down to meet nearly any need, we can bring the economic and environmental benefits of clean waste recycling to a wide range of communities and businesses. Additionally, our technology can enable energy independence through conversion of the syngas to renewable fuels and chemicals.
What are the possible applications for the CBR® syngas?
Concord Blue’s technology produces a high quality syngas, which is rich in hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Our syngas has five main applications: to fuel gas engines or turbines for high-efficiency electric power production, for pure hydrogen production, for ethanol production, as a replacement burner fuel for fuel oil or natural gas, and as a raw material for catalytic or biological synthesis of fuels, protein and other specialty chemicals.
What is special about the Concord Blue® process compared to other waste-to-energy technologies?
Concord Blue® technology is more efficient than other waste-to-energy technologies. Decomposition of the feedstock (thermolysis) and refinement of the gas produced (reforming) takes place in separate reactors at different temperatures. This staged reforming allows for more precise control of the process and ultimately increases the overall efficiency of the plant. Additionally, the Concord Blue process takes place in an oxygen-free environment, which means virtually no generation of dioxins or furans in the process.
What is the difference between Concord Blue® and a biogas plant?
In a biogas plant, biomass is “eaten up” by micro-organisms under exclusion of air. Gas is produced as a digestive or metabolic product, referred to as fermentation or anaerobic fermentation. Biogas mainly consists of methane and carbon dioxide and is produced at temperatures below 100 C. The micro-organisms are not able to digest all the material, so complete conversion of organic matter is not possible and there is a substantial waste byproduct. Concord Blue® plants, however, operate at temperatures above 500 C, fully capable of converting feedstocks, even those not digestible by microorganisms including plastics, synthetic textiles, rubber, etc. Concord Blue® syngas contains a large amount of hydrogen, which usually does not exist in biogas.
What kind of solid waste is left over in the Concord Blue Reformer®? Is waste water created?
The solid waste remaining in the Concord Blue Reformer™ consists primarily of the mineral components of the utilized regenerative feedstock (i.e., ash). Our wet syngas scrubbing process will create inert mineral salts in the scrubber water, which will vary depending upon the contaminants in the feedstock but are usually comprised of sodium sulfate and sodium chloride. The scrubber water can be separated into purified water using Reverse Osmosis or vacuum distillation and a concentrated waste product. Depending upon how the Pyrolysis char is used, that char can be a solid waste or marketable as biochar if organic lignin containing feedstocks are used or as ash if the Pyrolysis char is consumed in the multi-fuel oxidizer, again potentially marketable based on constituents in the ash.
Are heavy metals or toxic gases produced in the Concord Blue Reformer®?
Heavy metals are not produced in the process. The gases formed during thermolysis (thermal decomposition) of organic wastes is further refined into high-quality syngas at a temperature of 950 C in the reformer by addition of steam. Our syngas contains mainly hydrogen and is a valuable product gas that can be used for hydrogen or energy production. The carbon dioxide which is still part of the syngas is CO2-neutral. Another component of the syngas is carbon monoxide as well as a small amount of residual methane. As a combustible gas, carbon monoxide (CO) serves as a source of energy or a chemical building block and is therefore an important component of the gas produced by the Concord Blue Reformer®.
How long does it take to build a Concord Blue Reformer®?
From signing the purchase order contract to operation, the process takes twelve (12) to twenty four (24) months, depending on location, local conditions, plant specifications, plant volume and input material. Our Reformers can generate profit quickly, and the return on investment depends on the tipping fee intake per ton of waste and the sales price for the output (such as price per kWh of electricity or price per kg of hydrogen).