GTI Energy partnered with GreatPoint Energy in the pilot-scale developmental testing of their bluegas® process. GTI Energy provided access to a wide range of facilities, hardware, and expertise that allowed for process testing on an accelerated schedule without significant start-up costs. By tapping the resources of GTI Energy, GreatPoint Energy shaved more than $30 million in costs and several years in development time.
bluegas is a catalytic process that converts coal into clean pipeline-quality natural gas that can be used to generate power as well as for commercial and domestic heating, while capturing and sequestering the carbon dioxide byproduct. Per a Chicago Tribune July 5, 2010 article, for GreatPoint Energy to be successful, the technology — and the energy produced from it — would have to be environmentally friendly and financially viable. "We had to develop the technology from a beaker to a major demonstration plant and prove we could do it economically," said Andrew Perlman, President and Chief Executive Officer of GreatPoint Energy. GreatPoint Energy used GTI Energy's laboratories and staff to prove its concept and validate the process.
GTI Energy carried out more than 1,200 hours of cold and hot testing with GreatPoint through year-end 2007 that verified the technical feasibility of the process and demonstrated significant methane production. The program also identified potential improvements related to fluid bed mixing, heat transfer, and reactor geometry. Positive results from the GTI Energy test program were instrumental in efforts by GreatPoint to raise more than $100 million in investment capital to support continued development.
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