Feedstock Test Reformer (FTR)

Abraham Lincoln famously said, “Give me six hours to cut down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. Similar to this sentiment by Lincoln, ThermoChem Recovery International, Inc. (TRI), a Baltimore-based biorefinery company, believes that proper scientific preparation in small-scale systems is a prerequisite for large-scale commercial success in the gasification industry. TRI has developed many experimental apparatuses over the years. The most prominent of these is the largest fully-integrated, feedstock-to-fuel process demonstration unit (PDU) biorefinery on the east coast (possibly worldwide). More recently, TRI unveiled its Feedstock Test Reformer (FTR).


Using valuable experience gained in operating the neighboring PDU, TRI outfitted the FTR with a customized small scale feed system, a fully-functioning indirectly heated steam reformer that that can operate at up to 1800°F, together with a full suite of analytical tools.

The FTR Unit includes a customized high temperature alloy steam grid. This steam grid was first designed by TRI engineers in CAD, transformed into a polygon-based representation, and commercially 3D printed. It provides an efficient method of fluidization and steam distribution throughout the small-scale reactor.

The FTR system is developing a growing database of optimal process conditions under which a variety of feedstock compositions should be gasified. This database allows TRI consumers unparalleled flexibility in feedstock choice and precision in process configuration and operation.

Beyond the FTR, the TRI team has been speedily expanding into other areas of research, including extensive cold flow modeling for particle mixture flows, rapid prototyping of equipment through 3-D printing and developing unique analytical techniques associated with detecting parts per billion (ppb) levels of contaminants in complex syngas matrices.

If you are interested in advancing the science with us or sponsoring a test of your own feedstock blend, please contact us through our website for more information.