Genifuel Corporation licensed and subsequently enhanced a technology called hydrothermal processing (HTL) that has been under development at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for over thirty years. Genifuel engaged Merrick & Company to design a pilot scale version of the technology on behalf of Reliance Industries of India. Merrick executed the entire design from front end engineering through detailed design. The system was fabricated by Springs Fabrication, followed by commissioning led by Merrick with assistance from Genifuel and Reliance.


The system was tested at oil production rates between 1,000 and 2,000 liters per day, which is a much higher throughput than any previous demonstration of the technology and exhibits its scalability. Merrick recently completed the commissioning and the system has been shipped and delivered for installation at Reliance’s large, algae growth facility in Gagva, India.  Jim Oyler, Genifuel's CEO, describes the system below:



Chris Biondolilo

Project Manager

With over 30 years of experience in project management, risk management, strategic planning, engineering, and the design of industrial projects, Chris has developed a well-rounded expertise in

bio-products, renewable fuels and energy, and large fossil-fueled power projects.

Jim Wambach

Project Engineer

Jim's ability to translate between technical and oversight groups has been a tremendous asset at Merrick. He was responsible for directing development of all deliverables from mechanical, electrical, I&C, process, and structural engineers and designers on the Genifuel project.

Michael Washer

Commissioning & Start-up Lead

Michael was the commissioning manager for the project, coordinating the multi-disciplinary start-up and commissioning team. This team included most of the design team, which helped immensely when trouble-shooting the challenges that occurred during start-up and commissioning.

Matt Miller

Mechanical Lead

Matt has a variety of industrial mechanical engineering experience ranging from standard and custom refining and process facility equipment to materials handling equipment. Matt led the mechanical effort on Genifuel's HTL processing system, which included developing equipment data sheets, providing input into the equipment layout, and capital cost estimate.

Ryan Caulfield

Process Lead

As the process lead on the Genifuel project, Ryan was responsible for developing process & instrumentation diagrams, sizing equipment, performing hazards analysis, writing a factory acceptance test plan, and operating and troubleshooting the system during commissioning.

John Smart

I&C/Commissioning Lead

John's experience in manufacturing automation, robotics, software, and intelligent technologies has provided him the expert knowledge base for custom designed systems. He led software development and commissioning for Genifuel, which included developing the overall software, software architecture, and the documentation required for integration.



We’re passionate about what we do, and we pride ourselves in delivering unique, fresh solutions that meet our clients’ most complex challenges.

Our track record of repeat work and client satisfaction is a testament to the open communication, creativity, and seamless design process

that we provide clients through the Merrick Experience.



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