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Jun 29, 2015 3:45 EST

AgTran -Transforming Hazardous Methane Gas Into Sustainable Transportation Fuel

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 29, 2015

AgTran

Transforming Hazardous Methane Gas Into Sustainable Transportation Fuel

 

AgTran is on a mission to revolutionize industrial farming by converting and cleaning hazardous methane, a primary contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, into sustainable Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) for your car or truck.

Dairy farms will always produce biogas in abundance.  We cannot change this, but what we can change is how we deal with it.  AgTran takes the biogas and upgrades it to a gas that is 97% methane, to be used as a transportation fuel or put directly into the gas pipeline grid.  This process provides two incredible environmental benefits: the elimination of biogas and the addition of sustainable transportation fuel.

 
 
 
 

Remember the last time you sat in gridlock traffic for an hour on the way home? Or when you accidently left the lights on all day while running out the door? In our modern, urbanized world, we all have ecological footprints, whether we like it or not, and our footprint directly affects not only our earth, but the environment we leave for future generations.

While population growth in so-called developing nations like India and China is often pointed to as the number one producer of our environmental problems, the responsibility to sustain and protect the environment is global and acutely involves industrial, developed nations, such as the U.S., and our significant release of greenhouse gases.

While all greenhouse gases harm the environment, methane is by far the most brutal in its effects: it traps 25 times more long wave (infrared) radiation than carbon dioxide. Animal agriculture is the primary generator of this methane release.

Our desire for meat and dairy from farms produces immense amounts of the largest contributing gas to global warming and our modern environmental crisis. The results of the continued effects of unregulated GHG can be seen for example in China, a country whose cities are cloaked in blinding pollution, producing public health disasters and an unstable environment for us all. AgTran provides a solution for this problem.

By reducing methane emissions, we are immediately reducing our overall effect on greenhouse gas emissions, creating a more stable world for today and years to come. 

 
 
 
 

Enter biogas, the result of raw material such as agricultural waste and a mixture of decomposed gases without oxygen that can be converted into biodegradable material. We plan to use it as an alternative for transportation fuel to drastically increase mile-efficiency and environmental impact. Current convention is that the more we drive, the more pollution we generate.  

Consider the three following fuel options––diesel, gasoline, and biomethane.  

Other than the benefit of renewability, after cleaning, biomethane is identical to natural gas. The following comparison illustrates the cost advantage of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a transportation fuel compared with gasoline and diesel using recent national average prices.

CNG per Gasoline gallon equivalent:   $2.11
Gasoline per gallon:                             $2.76

CNG per Diesel gallon equivalent:       $2.39
Diesel per gallon:                                 $2.88

Therefore fueling cars and trucks with CNG would be 24% more cost effective compared to gasoline and 17% more cost effective compared to diesel!

 

Biomethane offers positive emissions properties, releasing markedly less emissions compared to other fossil fuel sources, such as gasoline or diesel. The latter’s fumes contain dangerous benzene and toluene, which are absent in biogas. 

Our new process is both easier and less costly: our materials will be modular standardized components, increasing installation and maintenance ease and significantly minimizing cost. The process of configuration is scalable and particularly well suited for small- and medium-sized farm digesters. 


Often, sustainable agricultural methods are available only to large scale farms that produce in mass, but bent on profit, they rarely prioritize the environment’s needs. Yet, small and medium scale farms, while more receptive to sustainability, often lack access or capital to invest in such high priced methods. The cycle of detrimental agriculture seems inevitable. 

Yet, by focusing on small and medium size farms, we are breaking this cycle of environmental degradation by combating the worst contributor to global warming and turning it into a sustainable, cost-efficient fuel. 

 
 
 
 

We use a digester, a revolutionary technology that separates gas and uses water as a solvent to absorb CO2 and hydrogen sulfide, both powerful contaminants. The result: pure methane.

(click on image to enlarge)

Why focus on methane specifically? Good question! Methane is potent Greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide. However biogas can be purified by using water to seperate methane and carbon dioxide and other water soluble trace gas components such as hydrogen sulfide, by using water as a solvent in the wash process, we are converting the trickiest, most troublesome greenhouse gas into pure renewable energy. 

As a bonus, our biogas cleaning process is both simple and economical; using well established and conventional compression to efficiently produce this renewable transportation fuel

Furthermore our cleaning process produces an additional revenue source for the farmer. Without a reliable revenue source to support a biogas cleaning project, capital becomes costly as do operating costs.Our technology solves that problem by creating a reliable and constant revenue stream for the harvested biogas:

 
 
 
 

The fundamental principles of our water wash technology are already well-established and widely popular in Europe, where biofuel is converted into high-quality RNG injected into pipeline distribution and used as an automobile fuel. Therefore the scaling and adoption of our technology will not be completed in isolation and will partake in a global transition towards more sustainable methods of living. 

Members of the AgTran team have installed workable digesters on multiple farms. The success of the digesters and the improvement on the farm’s environmental impact resulted in all farms expressing interest in having our novel gas cleaning system implemented on their farms. This is a testament to the credibility of our capabilities and how we can optimize a farm’s sustainability via our cleaning systems. Upon limited initial installation and start up, our system will produce approximately $3m of RNG sales. 

Our technology is still in the prototype phase with patents pending, and our long-term success at know farms attest to the immediate progress made in terms of both environmentally-sound practices and profit generated. 

 
 
 
 

The AgTran team:

Andy Livingston
An entrepreneur and start-up developer Andy previously co-founded an alternative energy company whose mission was to generate energy from renewable sources that could compete with conventional energy sources. From it’s inception in 1981 to his retirement in 2007 he developed $500m worth of projects ranging from hydro, municiple waste, waste coal to electricity as well as manure digestion to produce biogas and pipeline grade biomethane.

Bryan Johnson
An engineer with a BS degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering and a BS degree in Geology, is no stranger to biogas. In fact, he has spent over 25 years in the biogas industry, developing more than $100m in biogas opportunities. He has extensive knowledge about design, construction and operation of bioenergy projects involving electric generation, co-generation heat recovery, alternate fuel replacements, and gas processing applications to convert low quality raw biogas into a natural gas quality grade fuel.

Michael Callahan
A founder and CEO for multiple biotech start ups in the US and the UK including a recent ninety person, $80m company with operating profits exceeding $50m. He provides overall leadership and strategic direction of all key business functions and has extensive leadership experience in the areas of executive management, market development, engineering and sales. He previously worked at Invibio Ltd, Victrex, plc, DSM Engineering Plastic Products and began his career at the General Electric Co. Michael earned his MS and BS degrees in polymer engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, MA and graduated Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. 

Dan Eastman
A seasoned executive with substantial experience in renewable energy project development. Dan is an attorney, business executive, government cabinet secretary, academic and private equity investor with decades of experience in senior level management. Mr. Eastman was a founder of Microgy Cogeneration Systems, Inc. which developed successful biogas projects on large dairy farms in Wisconsin and Texas. Microgy was acquired by Environmental Power, Inc. in 2001 and Mr. Eastman served as Senior Vice President of Development. Currently, he is a partner in Titus Energy, Inc., a high-level energy consulting firm in Wisconsin that regularly represents some of Wisconsin’s largest industries before the Public Service Commission and other government agencies. 

Combining Andy, Bryan, Mike and Dan’s extensive experiences kickstarting new businesses, successfully accumulating revenue, and leveraging an intimate knowledge of biogas technology and industry will propel Agtran’s development and overall success in environmental sustainability. 

Contact Information:

Andy Livingston
Bryan Johnson
Michael Callahan
Dan Eastman

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