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Press Release

Syngest Chooses Iowa for Its First Nitrogen Fertilizer Plant

New Technology Will Make Ammonia From Renewable Corn Biomass

CONTACT
Jack Oswald, CEO,
415-986-8300
joswald@syngest.com

SynGest, Inc.
www.syngest.com

San Francisco, California – (Jan 21, 2009) – SynGest, Inc. announced that its venture to manufacture bio-ammonia from biomass will be launched in the state of Iowa. Three years from now, when SynGest’s plant goes into operation, Iowa’s renewable corn stover (stalks, cobs, etc.) will help replenish its soil with organic ammonia and bio-char.

SynGest’s facility will process 450 tons per day (TPD) of field-dried stover to yield 150 TPD of ammonia plus 20 TPD of bio-char, a valuable soil conditioning agent. Stover will be gathered from 75,000 acres on nearby farms, while the bio-ammonia and bio-char will serve to fertilize 500,000 acres under corn. Depending upon local ammonia prices, the plant will generate annual revenues between $25 and $35 million.

Why did SynGest choose to locate in Iowa? “Clearly the state is the number one corn producing region in North America,” said Jack Oswald, CEO of SynGest. “But we were also influenced by two other factors. Iowa offers a smart and productive workforce, and the state is very proactive in its support of innovative agricultural and renewable energy technologies.”

Stover will be fed into a pressurized oxygen-blown gasifier and converted into a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. After the gas stream is cleaned, the carbon monoxide will be “shifted” to maximize hydrogen. The hydrogen will be purified and catalytically reacted with nitrogen (from air) to make ammonia. The plant will include an air separation system to provide oxygen for the gasifier and pure nitrogen for ammonia synthesis. The process has been carefully optimized to make use of all recoverable waste heat, thereby minimizing the need for external energy supplies. Two major patents are pending.

With its negative carbon footprint, SynGest’s Iowa plant will be the first better-than-100% “green” environmental project of its kind in the world. The plant will create jobs for 30 full time direct employees. Handling, transportation of the stover and ammonia, and ancillary support services will generate the fulltime equivalent of 100 additional jobs.

SynGest’s front-end engineering team includes Unitel Technologies, Alion, Eltron, PSRI and RTI. The contractor for detailed engineering, procurement and construction will be selected next month. A major midwestern agribusiness has agreed to supply the stover and purchase/distribute the ammonia.