Velocys Leaving Shale Gas GTL Behind, Moving to Biomass BTL

We’ve written a fair bit about Velocys, a UK-based gas-to-liquids (GTL) company, over the past several years (see our stories here). Velocys previously purchased a GTL project planned for Ashtabula, OH, receiving all necessary permits to begin construction, but then put the project on indefinite hold in August 2016 (see Ashtabula, OH GTL Plant on Hold “Indefinitely”). GTL plants convert natural gas, a hydrocarbon, into other hydrocarbons, like diesel fuel, gasoline, solvents and waxes. They are a potential new market for an overabundance of supply in the Marcellus/Utica–hence our keen interest in companies like Velocys. Last December the company released a plan to “jump-start” the company (see GTL Vendor Velocys Releases Plan to Jump-Start the Company). Nowhere did we see mention that Velocys was thinking about abandoning their GTL focus, but NGI is now reporting the company is “suspending” its work and focus on GTL and instead is pivoting to work on “woody” biomass-to-liquids (BTL) instead. What’s woody biomass? Turning discarded trees and tree limbs into things like diesel fuel. Why the pivot? Because the company thinks it can score big money from the government to fund it…

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