Successful Steam-Oxygen Gasification Tests

31 July 2023

31 July 2023



("EQTEC", the "Company" or the "Group")


Successful Steam-Oxygen Gasification Tests for Biogaz Gardanne Project


EQTEC plc (AIM: EQT), a global technology innovator powering distributed, decarbonised, new energy infrastructure through its waste-to-value solutions for hydrogen, biofuels, and energy generation, is pleased to announce successful completion of steam-oxygen gasification tests (the "Tests") carried out in partnership with the Energy from Biomass and Wastes ("ERBE") team, part of the Laboratoire d'Etudes et de Recherche sur le Matériau Bois ("LERMAB") at Université de Lorraine ("UL") in Epinal, France, as part of feasibility work on the Biogaz Gardanne project awarded to the Company in March 2023 by the Préfet de la Région Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur in France (the "Project").


The Tests confirmed that similar results to those achieved with EQTEC steam-oxygen gasification technology at the LERMAB facility can be directly applied at commercial scale, for the Project and other plants seeking to produce advanced biofuels. More than merely a testing site, the LERMAB facility is a smaller version of a commercial-scale plant, with complete, end-to-end capabilities for feedstock conversion into synthesis gas ("syngas"). Just as the LERMAB facility runs an autonomous and autothermic process, so too will EQTEC installations into commercial-scale plants be able to operate without the need for supply of external energy.


The three objectives of the Tests were: (1) assess the feasibility of steam-oxygen gasification of Grade B waste wood; (2) validate in a live environment the simulation results already produced through EQTEC's proprietary simulation model; and (3) evaluate the quality of the syngas produced through the process toward its input into the subsequent methanation process.


The Tests successfully achieved all objectives:


(1)  The EQTEC technology demonstrated continuous, efficient and productive conversion of Grade B waste wood, which is made complex by contamination with non-reactive materials such as glass or metal that must be removed from the fluidised bed to avoid low-efficiency reactions, as well as other materials such as polymers, which contain compounds that, left unmanaged, would impact the process and syngas quality;


(2)  The results of the Tests provided a clear match with the data produced through EQTEC's proprietary simulation model, including stable fluidisation and temperature in the gasification reactor, which indicates efficient oxygen distribution and feedstock conversion, as well as evolution of syngas composition through the process; and


(3)  The syngas produced through the steam-oxygen gasification approach was of high quality, with much larger proportions of hydrogen ("H2") and carbon monoxide ("CO") than typically produced through the air-blown gasification approach, indicating strong potential for upgrading of the gas to support efficient methanation and production of renewable natural gas ("RNG").


Additionally, the Tests validated the responsiveness of EQTEC's proprietary control systems over the process, testing changes to process parameters and quick response of the gasifier reactions to create stable processing through management of temperature, pressure and other factors to optimise gas composition.


The Tests were undertaken on the basis of a design concept for the Project that envisions a waste-to-energy facility that would cleanly and sustainably convert up to 100,000 tonnes per year of Grade B waste wood into RNG for injection into the natural grid, through an integrated gasification and methanation process.


The Project is currently completing a holistic feasibility on market dynamics, site specifications and technical requirements, and the Tests provide essential validation to the proposed waste-to-RNG solution with EQTEC's proprietary and patented steam-oxygen gasification technology.


Yoel Alemán, CTO of EQTEC, commented:


"These tests represent an important milestone for EQTEC in our technology innovation roadmap. The development of a steam-oxygen gasification process is key to application of EQTEC syngas to generation of a diversity of offtakes including hydrogen, methane or other biofuels (including sustainable aviation fuel or SAF), from a wide range of fuels including biomass, refuse-derived fuel (RDF), plastics and others.


"There are few successful steam-oxygen gasification facilities in the world, and we believe our success with these tests puts us at the forefront of clean, waste-to-value capabilities. From a technical perspective, we were pleased at how smoothly the technology performed throughout. The data we gathered will allow us to fine-tune our proprietary process capabilities and we look forward to applying the new knowledge to commercial-scale plants."


Yann Rogaume, Professor and Head of the ERBE Team, commented:


"The focus of these tests was not simply to determine the syngas quality obtained from conversion of Grade B wood waste, but to demonstrate the stability of the fluidisation and gasification processes and evaluate the variation of the process parameters on the thermochemical conversion process to optimise the production of syngas. We are satisfied that the tests indicate an efficient and effective conversion of a complex feedstock into syngas that is capable of supporting a high yield methanation process."


David Le Saint, Managing Director of EQTEC France SAS, commented:


"The Biogaz Gardanne project is one of several renewable energy projects in France enjoying strong community and government support at local, prefectural and national levels. It is indicative of France's progressive approach to development of new energy infrastructure, and we are delighted to be a part of helping to deliver that.


"For EQTEC, the active application of the steam-oxygen capabilities we installed in 2022 at the UL facility supports our innovation agenda, our business strategy and the Biogaz Gardanne project directly.  The conclusions of these tests are important for demonstrating EQTEC's capabilities in applying our versatile syngas technology to a variety of applications, including RNG, which is rapidly becoming a growth market in France. I look forward to adding these exciting results to our feasibility work and to driving the project forward as a result."





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About steam-oxygen gasification


EQTEC's patented and proprietary synthesis gas ("syngas") technology enables a range of offtake applications through either an air-blown gasification process or a steam-oxygen gasification process.


Air-blown gasification supports electrical power and thermal energy applications, where the mix of hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide in the syngas is less critical for the offtake application. Steam-oxygen gasification supports hydrogen, renewable natural gas ("RNG") and other advanced biofuel applications, where optimisation of the hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide mix is critical for efficiency and productivity of the offtake.


One of the greatest challenges for steam-oxygen gasification is efficient distribution of oxygen across the fluidised bed in the gasification reactor. Historically, most trials of this approach, by a range of research institutes and companies, have failed to achieve this, resulting in lower feedstock conversion efficiency, a lower quality syngas and thus a lower production and/or efficiency of hydrogen, methane or other offtake.


Tests undertaken by EQTEC in October 2022, together with the Energy from Biomass and Wastes ("ERBE") team, part of the Laboratoire d'Etudes et de Recherche sur le Matériau Bois ("LERMAB") at Université de Lorraine ("UL") in Epinal, France, was the team's first attempt with steam-oxygen gasification at the LERMAB facility, based on EQTEC's upgrades of the facility. The test was very successful, with strong stability in fluidisation and gasification temperature, which together indicate highly efficient oxygen distribution and feedstock conversion.


These tests, analyses and data generated will support refinements to EQTEC's proprietary process design, computational modelling and control systems in the interest of supporting a range of offtake applications.


About the project


EQTEC announced in March 2023 that it had been appointed by the French national government via the Préfet de la Région Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur (the "Prefecture") to lead a technical and commercial feasibility (the "Feasibility") on the site of a decommissioned, coal-fired power station in Meyreuil, Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, France (the "Site").


The Gardanne power station ("Gardanne") was an 850 MWe coal-fired power station owned by Gazel Energie France, the fourth largest provider of electricity and gas in France and a wholly owned subsidiary of Czech multinational energy infrastructure owner-operator Energetický a průmyslový holding, a.s. ("Group EPH"). Following its July 2019 acquisition of Gardanne and other assets previously owned by Uniper France, which coincided with the French government's pledge to phase out coal power by 2022, Group EPH closed the plant at the end of 2020 and in 2022 reopened part of the plant as a 150 MWe biomass incineration facility.


The intention of national and regional stakeholders is to revitalise the Site by deploying new energy infrastructure that is clean, sustainable, and commercially viable, and to employ local people, particularly workers from the legacy plant. Through the Feasibility, the Prefecture and other stakeholders intend to explore the technical and commercial viability of a potential facility built around EQTEC technology, with particular interest in production of renewable natural gas ("RNG") from a variety of wood waste types.


Following the Feasibility, the Company will have the opportunity for additional design work, in partnership with France-based developers, to formalise a project and advance it toward financial close.




As one of the world's most experienced thermochemical conversion technology and engineering companies, EQTEC delivers waste management and new energy solutions through best-in-class innovation and infrastructure engineering and value-added services to owner-operators. EQTEC is one of only a few technology providers directly addressing the challenge of replacing fossil fuels for reliable, baseload energy. EQTEC's proven, proprietary and patented technology is at the centre of clean energy projects, sourcing local waste, championing local businesses, creating local jobs and supporting the transition to localised, decentralised and resilient energy systems.


EQTEC designs, specifies and delivers clean, syngas production solutions in the USA, EU and UK, with highly efficient equipment that is modular and scalable from 1MW to 30MW. EQTEC's versatile solutions process 60 varieties of feedstock, including forestry waste, agricultural waste, industrial waste and municipal waste, all with no hazardous or toxic emissions. EQTEC's solutions produce a pure, high-quality synthesis gas ("syngas") that can be used for the widest range of applications, including the generation of electricity and heat, production of renewable natural gas (through methanation) or biofuels (through Fischer-Tropsch, gas-to-liquid processing) and reforming of hydrogen.


EQTEC's technology integration capabilities enable the Group to lead collaborative ecosystems of qualified partners and to build sustainable waste reduction and green energy infrastructure around the world.


The Company is quoted on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) (ticker: EQT) and the London Stock Exchange has awarded EQTEC the Green Economy Mark, which recognises listed companies with 50% or more of revenues from environmental/green solutions.


Further information on the Company can be found at

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