BioNitrogen selects gasification supplier for initial urea plant
BioNitrogen Corp. recently announced it signed a three-year, non-exclusive agreement with PRM Energy System Inc. for the construction of gasification units for its proposed urea plants. BioNitrogen made several other announcements in August, including those for biomass supply and urea offtake. On Aug. 10, the company announced it signed an agreement to purchase biomass from a 40-acre parcel of land in Hardee County, Fla., which is where BioNitrogen’s first commercial facility will be located. Later in the month, BioNitrogen signed a supply agreement with United Suppliers Inc. Under the agreement, BioNitrogen will sell the urea fertilizer produced at its proposed Florida plant to United Suppliers.
According to Frank Segredo, BioNitrogen’s chief development officer, his company produces urea via a biomass gasification process and catalytic conversion. Traditional urea plants take in natural gas as a feedstock, he said. However, BioNitrogen will produce renewable urea by taking in biobased syngas as a feedstock.
The company intends to use locally-sourced biomass for each of its future plants. The first plant in Florida will take in a mix of waste vegetation, tree clippings and waste orange trees. Segredo also noted that the production process can be optimized to take in a wide variety of other feedstocks, including sorted municipal solid waste, agricultural waste, energy crops, and any other type of vegetation.
BioNitrogen’s initial plant in Florida is designed to produce 124,000 tons of urea per year. “We are in the process of finalizing engineering for that plant,” Segredo said. The facility is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2014.
The initial location in Hardee County offers several logistical advantages, Segredo added. The facility will be located less than 60 miles from the Port of Tampa and the Port of Manatee, allowing for barge shipment of urea to the Midwest via the Mississippi.
While BioNitrogen intends to focus exclusively on the market for urea fertilizer initially, there are many other potential markets for the chemical. According to Segredo, urea is also used in vehicle applications, personal care products, pool chemicals, and a variety of other products and materials.
Regarding the company’s business plan, Segredo noted that BioNitrogen intends to own and operate plants featuring its technology, and has no plans to license the process to third-parties. “Our intention is to have our plants build on a turnkey basis by our engineering firm,” he continued.