Biomass-to-liquids (BTL)

The BTL process

Biomass-to-liquids (BTL) is a process that converts waste biomass, for example from the processing of forestry or sawmill waste or municipal solid waste, into premium, renewable diesel and jet fuel. BTL involves three processes:

  • Preparation of synthesis gas or syngas (a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen) by the gasification of the solid feedstock.
  • The Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process to convert the syngas into paraffinic hydrocarbons. Velocys' technology provides a solution for this stage of the GTL process.
  • Upgrading to produce finished products




Fuels derived from the FT process can deliver material lifecycle greenhouse gas reductions, typically exceeding 60% compared to traditional fuels. Accordingly they are eligible for Renewable Identification Number (RIN) credits in the US and can be used to meet renewable transport fuel obligations for diesel in the UK, enhancing plant economics.

Unlike other biofuels, FT-derived fuels are fully compatible with current engines and fuelling infrastructure; they can be blended at high percentages with conventionally derived fuels. They also offer better performance than their petroleum-based equivalents.

Velocys technology was successfully demonstrated in a BTL environment in 2010 in Güssing, Austria. The Velocys FT reactor demonstrated its robustness to changing syngas conditions.

Our commercial projects

Smaller scale FT facilitating biofuels applications

Because biomass feedstock is not very dense, it is not economic to transport it over long distances to centralised production facilities. This is why conventional, large-scale FT technology has historically not been deployed using biomass as feedstock. However, Velocys' smaller scale FT provides a practical and economical option for biofuels production.



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