BioNitrogen granted biomass-to-urea technology patent

By Chris Hanson | September 30, 2013

Florida-based BioNitrogen Corp. was granted a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its technology that converts biomass feedstocks into urea fertilizer.

The technology can convert 1,000 tons of residual biomass, including sugarcane bagasse, palm waste, corn stover and rice hulls to produce 520 tons of granulated urea with 46 percent nitrogen content. During the process, the biomass is dried, cleaned, ground and then gasified. The produced syngas is then cleaned and processed through catalytic reaction stages to produce the fertilizer. During the process, any byproducts of the vent streams are recycled back through the system to produce electricity and 60 tons of ash, which is sold as a concrete additive. Ernie Iznaga, vice president of operations at BioNitrogen said the amount of power generation depends upon the type of power production method and the location.

“This patent is an important milestone in BioNitrogen’s strategy and confirms the uniqueness of our technology and process,” said Bryan Kornegay, president and chief financial officer of BioNitrogen. “This patent is a key intellectual property asset and significantly enhances our competitive position in the marketplace.”

The biomass-to-urea process will be rolled out in domestic and international markets, indicated Iznaga. BioNitrogen is planning to implement the technology in Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina and international markets in Alberta, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, South Africa and Southeast Asia. In addition to expanding into other markets, self-power generation is the next development for BioNitrogen.