Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for January 30, 2014
Get your mind 'into' the sewer
Some thought Kanab might be full of it, but now we have the definitive answer! The Kanab sewer pond has plenty of ... algae!
And, that’s a good thing, according to Utah State University’s Dr. Shurtleff. The City of Kanab has the potential to support a fuel processing plant. Prior work done by Shurtleff has demonstrated a sound growing environment here. Shurtleff tested Kanab’s sewer ponds a year and a half ago, with the project getting extended.
Compact Contractors for America, LLC (CCA) is a Cedar City company and producer of powdered fuel used in a many applications, from ‘green’ coal to aviation fuel. The company claims to provide a unique method to convert algae, yeast and other plant biomass to a high-energy powder through a simple, economic drying process.
Robert Fulton III is the founder and patent holder on the process, and owner of Compact Contractors for America, LLC. He wants Kanab City to come on board with his project with a (non-committing) letter of interest for a feasibility study. “We have the full patent on Turbo Biofuel, it’s trash to cash. We use algae. It was tested at Penn State.”
The alga, which grows naturally in sewer ponds, is harvested, collected and dried. The process is then made into a fuel that is usable for a number of energy products. According to Fulton, the great part of the process is that the primary byproduct is distilled water!
Fulton’s process uses algae, yeast, camlina meal and other biomass to make a high-energy combustible powder. Solid materials can generally be delivered to a pressurized compact combustor and dispersed for rapid intense combustion, if the solids can be fluidized homogeneously.
According to Fulton’s website, such fluidizable solids behave like liquid fuels, and can be considered for use in systems designed for such. The theory is that TBF behave like liquid fuels in higher compression turbine applications (methane, natural gas, powdered coal). The company’s testing suggests that these powdered fuels can be delivered to a high pressure combustor that is coupled with an energy conversion system that produces thrust or shaft power.
Fulton said there are a couple of different facility structures that could be built to process the algae, in the event the Kanab project goes forward. One type would be to use a drum dryer and another a spray dryer, neither one having a large smokestack, pollution or combustibility risk.
The Kanab City Council will review and consider forwarding a letter of interest to the company concerning the project. This step will ‘not’ be a commitment or contractual agreement to go forward, but rather a commitment that the city will entertain the idea. From that point, Compact Contractors for America will work with city officials to see if the facility is profitable for the company and of benefit to the City of Kanab. It the feasibility study goes well, CCA then prepares a formal proposal for Kanab City.