Renewable Energy Feedstocks

renewable energy bannerPlants offer one of the lowest risk, lowest capital requirement sources of renewable energy while providing side benefits in the form of carbon capture, oxygen emission, water transpiration and positive local climate change as well as improving the socio-economic benefits to local communities.

Plant-based Renewable Energy Feedstocks

PolyGenomX has developed, or plans to develop, the following fast-growing, high-yielding Polygenomic feedstocks:

Biodiesel Plants

  • Oil Seed Trees
  • Oil Seed Crops
    • Brassica juncea
    • Camelina sativa

Biomass Plants

  • Biomass Trees & Shrubs
    • Paulownia
    • Prosopis juliflora
    • Moringa oleifera

Biodiesel Feedstocks

Biodiesel refers to a fuel oil derived from vegetable oils or animal fats.

Biodiesel vegetable oil feedstocks are drawn from two broad groups of plants:

1) Oil Seed Trees (OST’s);

2) and Oil Seed Crops.

Jatropha curcas – (OST)

Jatropha seeds, when crushed, result in an oil which can be processed to produce a high-quality fuel suitable for use in standard diesel vehicles and as aviation fuel. The residue of the crushed seeds (call “press cake”) can be processed for use as biomass feedstock for power generation or as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium-rich fertiliser, thus adding further value to the seed harvest.

The best conventional Jatropha species may yield four times the fuel per hectare as soybean and ten times that of corn.

PolyGenomX (PGX) Jatropha

The Polygenomic Jatropha, derived from superior diploid stock, offers even higher yields – with the bonus of faster growth rates, earlier fruiting and broader climate tolerance coupled with its potential for rapid selective breeding to optimise ideal oil characteristics.

The image below demonstrates the size increase that can be expected when the PolyX™ process is applied to a plant. The seeds on the left are from the unmodified diploid parent plant (Jatropha curcas), the seeds on the right are from the 2nd generation polygenomic plants.

Biogas (Syngas) Feedstocks

Timber when subjected to temperatures above 300°c undergoes pyrolysis (decomposition through heat) releasing a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen known as syngas.

The Carbon residue from the pyrolysis is known as biochar and is a benign and beneficial soil additive, improving texture and ecology, fertilizer retention and release and provision of micronutrients to the soil.

Syngas provides a suitable, clean, renewable fuel for gas-fired electric generators, and can provide an ideal solution for geographical “energy islands” such as those which exist in Developing Island States (eg, Samoa) or in remote mining operations.

In both instances, these bodies import and burn large volumes of non-renewable fossil fuel in order to generate the electricity required to sustain their economy or operation.

Biomass-driven power generation can provide such operations with a local, renewal energy source, with obvious side benefits.

Paulownia

Conventional Paulownia is a very fast-growing high-silica tree uniquely suited to syngas conversion. It pyrolizes extremely cleanly, yielding a large proportion of gas and a small quantity of high-quality biochar – and little else.

In good growing conditions Paulownia can reach 6 metres (20 feet) in their first season and can reach maturity in 8-10 years, producing up to 1 cubic metre of timber in that time.

The tree regenerates rapidly after coppicing (cutting back) and the foliage is suitable as cattle feed.

PolyGenomX (PGX) Paulownia

Taking one of the fastest-growing trees on the planet and generating a Polygenomic species has resulted in a super-tree!

PGX Paulownia:

  • Grows to coppicing age in less than four years (compared to six years for its best-performing, selectively-bred competitors);
  • Yields, throughout its life, more than double the biomass by area of its competitors;
  • Yields 30% more high-protein cattle fodder via its foliage;
  • Enjoys up to 40-year plantation life;
  • Yields Carbon Credits in the form of permanent roots equivalent to approximately 30% of total mass; and
  • Provides strong land-stabilisation and micro-climate enhancement factors.

It pyrolises superbly, rendering up 99.25% of its mass as gas and yielding just .75% biochar as its sole byproduct. For more detailed information click here.

It is simply one of the lowest-cost available feedstock for biomass power generation.

Paulownia Comparison Jan13 This image demonstrates the growth differential between the diploid parent stock (left) and the polyploid PGX stock on the right, both trees are showing 15 weeks growth post coppice and are growing within metres of each other and under the same conditions.