• Ron Kotrba

Fulcrum BioEnergy completes construction of Sierra BioFuels plant in Nevada


Photo: Fulcrum BioEnergy

Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc. announced July 6 that it has completed construction of its Sierra Biofuels plant, dubbing it “the world’s first commercial-scale plant converting household garbage into low-cost, zero-carbon transportation fuels.”


The Nevada-based facility located east of Reno is scaled to convert 175,000 tons of prepared municipal solid waste (MSW) into 11 million gallons per year (mgy) of zero-carbon synthetic crude oil, which will then be upgraded to transportation fuels such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), renewable diesel and renewable gasoline branded as Fulcrum Fuel™. Fulcrum stated it has patented processes and systems for converting the organic material found in MSW into Fischer-Tropsch liquids and upgraded transportation fuels.


“Completing construction is a monumental milestone not only for Fulcrum and our dedicated team who have worked tirelessly to make Sierra a reality, but also for our shared commitment to the environment and our local communities,” said Eric Pryor, Fulcrum president and CEO. “Fulcrum Fuel produced at Sierra will divert hundreds of thousands of tons of waste from a local landfill every year, while also helping our customers achieve their net zero-carbon emissions goals. We couldn’t be more proud to bring the world’s first waste-to-fuels plant online in the coming months.”


Commissioning of the Nevada plant has begun, according to Fulcrum, and production is expected to start this fall.


The future focus of Fulcrum will be on decarbonizing air travel by supplying zero-carbon SAF, the company stated. Fulcrum said it has identified eight future plant locations in the U.S. with the capacity to produce more than 400 mgy of MSW-based fuel, and that it has secured feedstock for Sierra and for future plants from its waste-services partners. The firm added that it has entered into fuel offtake agreements with BP, United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, World Fuel Services and Marubeni.


Its next project, the 35 mgy Centerpoint BioFuels plant in Gary, Indiana, will source MSW from the Chicagoland and northern Indiana areas. Fulcrum has secured the site, completed initial engineering and submitted permits, the company said.


Fulcrum added that it is finalizing site selection for a third project in the Houston, Texas, area, also to be scaled at 35 mgy.

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