Energy future brighter

A FLEDGLING technology company has expanded a joint venture agreement with its US partner that may lead to commercialisation of technologies it says drastically reduces the emissions of some fossil fuels.

Noel Dyson

If all goes well a couple of its developments could be commercialised by the end of the year.

Called Future Energy, the Australian company has been working on technologies related to making cleaner burning coal for power stations.

It has expanded its JV agreement with the NASDAQ listed MagneGas, which counts among its inventions a technology that converts liquid waste into a hydrogen-based fuel.

Under the terms of the agreement both parties will own 50% of a company formed for the purpose of developing the technologies.

The agreement includes and extends beyond the existing partnership of coal co-combustion to include other future developments, such as the combustion of MagneGas with diesel, heavy oil, aviation fuels and liquefied petroleum gas.

Future Energy director Lindsay Pukallus told International Coal News that its techniques could strip the mercury and sulphur from coal and also cut its carbon dioxide emissions to the same level as natural gas.

It will be good news for US utilities that are facing much harsher emissions laws.

It also has a treatment for diesel fuel that will cut its CO2 emissions to less than 1.8%.

Pukallus said diesel’s normal CO2 emission rate was about 10-12%.

One of the coal technologies the JV will be looking at is a post burn process that Future Energy has patented.

“This refires the emissions coming off and burns it again,” Pukallus said.

“The energy we pull from that [refiring] covers the cost. We get a positive out of the process of about 5-6% overall.

“It’s taken us about seven years to get that.”

The other technology the JV will be looking at is a pre-fuel treatment.

Pukallus said the treatment gave a fuel of consistent size and calorific value without any mercury and most of the sulphur.

“The mercury is relatively easy to get out,” he said.

“We’ve got a client in China that wants 2000 kilograms of mercury a month.

“We haven’t got all the answers but we do have some.”

MagneGas CEO Ermanno Santilli said he was pleased to see the successful relationship between the two companies extended.

“Future Energy and MagneGas have identified and are already working on several new energy opportunities which leverage the unique properties of MagneGas fuel and the combustion expertise of Future Energy,” he said.