(48a) Session Keynote - Beneficial Uses of Stranded Assets -- Emerging Opportunities | AIChE

(48a) Session Keynote - Beneficial Uses of Stranded Assets -- Emerging Opportunities


Patel, P. - Presenter, FuelCell Energy, Inc.
Lipp, L., FuelCell Energy, Inc.
Stranded Assets: Industrialized economies have very high productivity of manufactured goods and agricultural products. This high productivity is associated with high level of wasted resources: for example waste heat from process plants, municipal solid waste going to landfills, agricultural biomass waste, sewage sludge, waste water and flare gas associated with oil and gas production. This wasted resources represent lost economic value, but also pose risk to environmental sustainability. These Stranded Assets, when converted to higher value co-products, represent multi-billion dollars market potential. States like California are leading the efforts and technology development to create Win-Win solution for these stranded assets as discussed next.

Emerging Opportunities: The wasted resources described above can be converted to higher value co-products such as hydrogen, methane, syn-gas, bio-oil, bio-char and chemicals. The conversion technologies include anaerobic digestion, gasification, pyrolysis, etc. among others. Efforts are underway to demonstrate these conversion technologies at commercial scale and validate them for economic viability and environmental sustainability. California is the first state to recognize the solid waste as a renewable energy source, extending it with policy support for financial incentives. One such example is: Hydrogen or Methane produced from human waste now qualifies for renewable fuel and low-carbon fuel credits. A Multi-Purpose Energy Station being developed by T2M Global Team offers a promising pathway for increased revenue from sale of higher value co-products, and thus a new opportunity of beneficial uses of the stranded assets. The innovative energy station provides H2 for fuel cell electric cars, charging for battery electric vehicles, methane for CNG vehicles, and grid support services to eliminate intermittency problems associated with solar and wind energy.

Policy Support Opportunities: Waste heat and flare gases deserve wasted resource recognition for their potential of economic value and environmental benefits. It may be appropriate to consider them as Tier 2 Renewables, similar to the precedence in CT, NY and NJ for clean power from natural gas fuel cells.