We recently worked with Louisville Clean Energy (LCE) CEO William Bivins to develop design concepts, including custom animation, for the company's first-of-its-kind bio-refinery.
The LCE renewable energy production facilities or bio-refineries will use off-the-shelf fully developed technology; however, the manner in which the technology is utilized will be unique. LCE filed a provisional patent (with United States and International coverage) in June 2007. The patent is titled "A Multi-Process Method of Combined-Cycle Energy Generation, Biodiesel, Ethanol and Methane Production" and covers the process for integrating this off-the-shelf technology into an efficient production process capable of simultaneously producing bio-gas, biodiesel, ethanol, and electricity. Biodiesel is a viable alternative energy to petroleum diesel with better lubricity (lubricating characteristics) reducing diesel engine maintenance cost and improving fuel efficiency.
In the process developed by LCE, waste heat from bio-diesel production is used as the primary energy for the creation of ethanol, a type of alcohol that is primarily used as a blend component for gasoline. Any remaining "waste" from the production of ethanol and bio-diesel is put back into the bio-refinery to create bio-gas and used as an energy source to start the whole process over again.
Bio-gas can be produced from waste streams such as paper production, sugar production, sewage, animal waste, human waste, etc. These various waste streams are combined and allowed to naturally ferment, producing methane gas. When a bio-gas plant has extracted all the methane it can, the remaining mixture can be used as topsoil or fertilizer. The methane gas used in the production process is combusted (in a turbine engine/generator) to produce a heat source for steam generation.
William Bivins is a serial entrepreneur who has experience with two start-up companies and an extensive background in the design and operation of heat transfer devices, steam and gas operations and electro-mechanical devices. We are exited to play a role in his latest successful venture.