Foster Wheeler, a global engineering and construction contractor and power equipment supplier, has completed its initial testing of PetroAlgae's biomass, with encouraging results.

The biomass, produced at PetroAlgae’s micro-crop farm in the US, is being tested as a delayed coker feedstock supplement to provide renewable biofuels to the market.

Testing was conducted at a commercial coker facility operated by the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Tulsa (Oklahoma).

The combination of PetroAlgae’s proprietary patent-pending biomass production system and Foster Wheeler’s SYDEC delayed coking technology is being designed with the intent to allow the delayed coker to incorporate biomass into the coker feedstock, with minimal configuration changes to an existing unit.

Testing was conducted to demonstrate that the biomass is an effective add-in complement to vacuum residue coker feedstock, and does not significantly affect overall coker operations.

The initial test results demonstrate that biomass, mixed with vacuum residue, yields additional valuable hydrocarbons as a result of biomass carbohydrate and lipid decomposition.

Further testing and engineering development is underway to optimize process parameters and feedstock blend ratios.

PetroAlgae is a Melbourne, Florida-based a renewable energy company.