A look inside the Fulcrum Process

Instead of going to the landfill, household garbage is redirected to our Feedstock Processing Facility, where metals and other inorganic materials are separated from organic waste and recycled or disposed of at the landfill. Our processing system then sizes, sorts, processes and dries the organic waste, producing a light "confetti-like" feedstock that is ready for gasification at the Biorefinery.

The prepared feedstock is then processed through our gasification system which incorporates several key systems and pieces of equipment. Here, the waste is heated in a low-oxygen environment and reacts with steam in a bubbling bed gasifier to form carbon monoxide and hydrogen molecules. We’ve added additional equipment in our gasification system that helps convert unreacted material, maximizing our syngas production.

The syngas clean-up stage removes particulate, acid gas and excess water from the syngas in a wet scrubbing process. Additional syngas clean-up steps remove unwanted impurities and adjust the carbon monoxide and hydrogen ratio in the syngas so that it is ready for processing in our Fischer-Tropsch system.

The Fischer-Tropsch, or FT, process utilizes a catalyst filled tubular reactor to convert the carbon monoxide and hydrogen in the syngas into a mixture of paraffinic hydrocarbons, or syncrude. The syncrude, which is then separated from the unreacted syngas, flows through to the upgrading process. The unreacted syngas is recycled back through the FT Reactor for conversion to syncrude, increasing the efficiency and yield of our process.

The upgrading process cracks the syncrude down into smaller chain hydrocarbons where the jet fuel or diesel fraction is separated from the mixture and longer chained hydrocarbons are recycled back to the hydrocracker for further processing.

Two employees viewing and recording digital readouts outside of a Biorefinery

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See our innovative process at work

See our proven process for turning garbage into renewable transportation fuels, including jet fuel and diesel.

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Feedstock

Landfill waste:

The ideal feedstock for making cost-competitive, drop-in fuels

Landfill with bulldozer in the background
Choice of feedstock is one of the most important elements in the production of renewable fuels. Landfill waste, or household garbage, is the most abundant, lowest-cost feedstock in the renewable fuels industry with an existing and mature infrastructure for its collection and transport – providing Fulcrum with an excellent, long-term source of feedstock for our plants. Landfill waste doesn’t need to be grown, and it doesn’t need to be pulled from a well. That means we can produce fuels at a competitive cost with petroleum-based fuels.

Abundant

Household garbage is one of our nation’s most abundant resources; the United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that in the U.S., nearly 300 million tons of garbage is generated each year. And it doesn’t have any competing uses.

Low-Cost

Landfill waste is the lowest-cost feedstock in the renewable fuels industry. And because we have long-term supply agreements with waste services companies, we have de-risked our projects and eliminated any price volatility in our feedstock.

Accessible

Landfill waste has a mature collection, sorting and delivery infrastructure in place. And our long-term feedstock supply agreements with our waste service partners ensure that we’ll have steady access to the feedstock we need for our existing facilities and to support our large growth program.

Environmental Benefits

A revolution in the way the world sees its garbage

Making clean transportation fuels from garbage helps address the dual challenges of climate change and waste going to landfills.