The Hydrofaction™ process can handle a wide variety of organic feedstocks. Steeper has been focusing on hardwood and softwood forest residues as well as mill wastes due to the abundance of these resources. However, Steeper Energy’s founders have tested over fourty different feedstocks and mixtures including: forestry and agricultural residues; manures and sewage sludge; aquatic biomass in the form of seaweed and algae; as well as ancient biomass in the form of peat and lignite coal.
Steeper Energy is focused on exploiting Hydrofaction™ to convert forestry and agricultural residues into Advanced Biofuels. Project development is underway on commercial facilities capable of producing in excess of 2000 barrels-per-day of Hydrofaction™ Oil. For example, a 2000 barrel-per-day Hydrofaction™ facility requires approximately 260,000 oven-dried (equivalent) tonnes of biomass feedstock annually about the same amount of residues left in the forest as part of harvesting and cellulosic wastes created during the production paper by a medium sized pulp & paper plant.
Large-scale agri-business harvesting cereal grain, maize or other crops all create straws and residues that can be converted to Hydrofaction™ Oil. Food processing, production of alcohols or ethanol also creates large amounts of organic wastes that can be transformed into renewable fuel oil.
In the near future a variety of energy cropping systems and species are proving viable for the sustainable production of lignocellulosic feedstocks including aspen, poplar, willow and miscanthus (elephant) grass. Should the production of algae biomass become mainstream and significant volumes produced, Hydrofaction™ represents an optimal process to cost effectively convert the whole algae microorganism body (no oil extraction step) into renewable fuel oil.