Coskata is a technology leader in the production of alternative fuels and chemicals. Our proprietary three-step process has been demonstrated at scale and offers high yields, low costs and feedstock flexibility.
Step 1: Syngas Production
In the first process step, we convert carbon-containing feedstock into synthesis gas, or syngas, which is a mixture of carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. The feedstock material decomposes into a syngas that Coskata can then convert into fuels or chemicals, without releasing harmful emissions or byproducts. Syngas provides the building blocks for all of our end products. Our method of producing syngas varies based on the type of feedstock being utilized:
- For natural gas conversion, we use commercial natural gas reformers to convert the feedstock into syngas. Natural gas reforming is a common process used in the production of fertilizers and chemicals. For industrial gases such as steel mill gases, no reforming is required.
- For solid feedstocks such as wood or coal, we produce syngas through gasification. Gasification has been widely used in industrial settings and has a long operating history in coal-based applications. Modern gasification technologies are highly efficient and have years of operating history.
Because of the flexibility of Coskata’s microorganisms, there are few constraints on the type of syngas production technologies that can be utilized. This allows for optimal selection from the best reforming and gasification technologies for a given feedstock or desired scale.
Whether we are using natural gas or solid feedstocks, the syngas stream is cleaned to remove any materials that may be harmful to the downstream process. The hot syngas stream is also used as a heat source to generate the steam necessary to drive distillation; this recovered heat greatly reduces operating costs of the facility.
Step 2: Fermentation
After the syngas is cleaned and cooled, it is fed to Coskata’s innovative bioreactors where proprietary microorganisms convert the syngas into fuels and chemicals
Coskata’s microorganisms convert nearly all of the chemical energy of the syngas into the desired end product, leading to high yields. The fermentation process operates at lower pressure and lower temperatures, delivering cost and energy advantages over thermochemical pathways.
Step 3: Separation
The third step of the Coskata process is product separation. This step utilizes commercially-available distillation and dehydration technologies to efficiently separate the final product from the water stream exiting the bioreactor. The separation step has several cost-savings measures as part of its design, including heat recovery and water recycling. These measures reduce the need for external energy sources and minimize water consumption.