14 February 2012

Linde Engineering Dresden GmbH has acquired the Carbo-V® Technology of the insolvent Choren Industries GmbH of Freiberg, Germany. The financial terms were not disclosed.

The Carbo-V Technology is a biomass gasification process that can be used—in conjunction Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis—to produce transportation fuels, such as diesel. The process starts with converting biomass in a low temperature gasifier (LTG) into biocoke and carbonization gas. In a second stage, a partial oxidation of the carbonization gas is conducted in a high temperature gasifier (HTG). The gas is then cooled and the remaining biocoke dust is separated and returned to the HTG reactor. After further conditioning, the gas is fed into an FT reactor, where it can be converted into diesel fuel and/or other “green” products. Example feedstocks that can be used in the Carbo-V process include wood chips, straw or energy plants.

Choren launched insolvency proceedings in early July 2011. The insolvency was brought about as a result of financing difficulties associated with the commissioning of the synthetic gas demonstration plant—known as the Beta Plant—located in Freiberg. The construction of the plant was completed in 2008, and first synthesis gas from wood was produced in December 2009.

Choren renewable diesel fuel, marketed as SunDiesel, was produced from the Carbo-V synthesis gas using Fischer-Tropsch technology from Shell, who acquired a minority stake in Choren in 2005 (and sold it in 2009). Other minority shareholders of Choren included Daimler and Volkswagen, with both companies supporting the SunDiesel fuel.

The acquisition of the Carbo-V Technology by Linde comprises all related patents and trademarks. The remaining CHOREN staff of 65 will initially retain their jobs. In the future, Linde plans to offer the Carbo-V Technology as licenser and as an engineering and contracting company for commercial projects. The acquisition has not included the Beta Plant, which remains available for sale.

Source: Linde | Choren