Royal Dahlman is a leader in process filtration and scrubbing systems for the refining and petrochemicals industries, with a 128-year history of research, development, and engineering solutions for high temperature, high pressure, abrasive or corrosive processes. Its filtration client list reads like a “Who’s Who” of leaders in refining and petrochemicals.
Royal Dahlman also specializes in systems at the inlet or outlet of gas turbines, another area of expertise very salient to Synova’s objective of building Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (“IGCC”) systems for waste. It is the recipient of General Electric’s “Quality of Excellence Award” for its work with General Electric power turbines, and in 2011 it received the Netherlands’ “Royal” designation, in recognition of its long history of distinguished quality, service, and business practices.
Synova is a significant investor in Royal Dahlman, and its Dutch offices are co-located with Royal Dahlman’s, in the village of Maassluis (on the Rotterdam Canal). Royal Dahlman’s Dahlman Renewable Technology (“DRT”) division is Synova’s key partner for technical development.
Dahlman Renewable Technology
DRT houses Royal Dahlman’s renewable energy initiatives and dedicated staff. When the Energy Center of the Netherlands (“ECN”) conceived and developed their OLGA® tar removal process, Royal Dahlman was a natural fit for its commercialization. This, in turn, led to a similar role commercializing the ECN’s proprietary gasifier, MILENA®.
DRT has a worldwide exclusive license for OLGA®, certain licenses for MILENA®, and pending patents of its own for associated systems. Most importantly, DRT has significant know how, especially in the area of what comes out of a waste or biomass gasifier. Since most gasifiers merely burn their gas without treatment, their experts have little practical experience dealing with the content of the gas that comes out of the gasifier. DRT has accumulated invaluable experience in this arena, built upon Royal Dahlman’s long history of dealing with process gas rather than exhaust gases.
DRT is Synova’s key partner for technical development and it provides the design and engineering packages as well as arranges fabrication for the OLGA® and MILENA® systems employed by Synova.
Energy Center of the Netherlands (“ECN”)
The ECN is a leader in innovation for the fields of solar power, wind energy, biomass, waste, energy efficiency, and sustainable energy systems. It is one of the Netherlands’ two national energy labs. Blessed with one of Europe’s largest natural gas fields and the pioneering Royal Dutch Shell, the Netherlands has always been a leader in energy within Europe, a position that has been supported by its national labs.
The ECN has led alternative energy efforts, including a national quest to produce a pipeline-grade, synthetic natural gas from biomass. OLGA®, MILENA®, and a methanization process were developed at ECN for this purpose. The ECN has lab-scale and pilot-scale facilities for these processes that are used extensively for testing fuels and innovations, and the ECN provides third party testing and monitoring of commercial facilities developed by DRT.
ECN’s activities complement DRT’s. ECN’s specialty is research and development, while Dahlman’s is developing, designing, and delivering equipment for commercial installations. ECN operates lab- and pilot-scale facilities used by Royal Dahlman, while Royal Dahlman operates engineering, project management, and production facilities. Together, they bring a broad range of capabilities and experience to each gasification project. Aside from funding much of the staff and work that has gone into adaptation of these technologies into an integrated gasification to combined cycle gas turbine system (“IGCC”) for municipal solid waste, Synova’s role is to develop projects that establish these technologies as the new norm.
FullCycle Energy Fund
FullCycle Energy Fund is Synova’s project finance affiliate, created to finance construction of profitable trash-to-energy power plants, or conversion of current power plants from traditional fuels to syngas made from municipal solid waste (MSW). FullCycle is also a major shareholder of Synova, and FullCycle founder and managing director Ibrahim Al Husseini is a member of Synova’s board.
Ecosystem Integrity Fund
An early-stage investor in Synova, the Ecosystem Integrity Fund is focused on identifying promising solutions to key threats to ecosystem integrity, from the perspective of both investment value and environmental benefit. Ecosystem Integrity Fund co-founder and partner Devin Whatley is a member of Synova’s board.