Processing Magazine

Waste Management invests in waste-to-fuel process

August 26, 2009
According to the Associated Press, Waste Management Inc. is investing in a waste-to-fuel conversion technology that makes high-octane fuel from grass clippings, discarded food and other organic waste. The nation''s largest trash hauler has joined refiner Valero Energy Corp., which invested in Terrabon LLC in April. Valero, the No. 1 independent refiner in the U.S., has since increased its investment in Terrabon. All three companies are based in Houston. Waste Management will help Terrabon secure organic waste streams that Terrabon will use to produce high-octane gasoline from a technology that converts biomass into organic salts. The salts, or bio-crude, would be shipped to a Valero refinery or other processing center where it would be converted to high-octane gasoline that can be blended into a refiner''s fuel. Terrabon said it recently completed the production of gasoline from sorghum biomass. The investments by Waste Management and Valero will help Terrabon build a commercial-scale facility in Port Arthur, Texas. The plant could produce up to 1.3 million gallons of gasoline per year. Financial terms were not disclosed.