The power and efficiency of Raven SR’s technology lies in its patented Steam/CO2 reforming process, a process created and patented by Dr. Terry Galloway (formerly of Intellergy.) However, the power of the process goes back farther to the innovative steam-powered tractors designed by Daniel Best in 1885, Raven SR CEO, Matt Murdock’s great-great-great-grandfather, and Terry’s great-great-grandfather.
Daniel Best introduced his first combine harvester in 1885 that included the process of harvesting, cleaning, and bagging into one unit. In fact, Best’s tractor may have been one of the earliest forms of renewable transportation, using onsite agricultural waste to create steam in the innovative upright boiler design.
Daniel’s son, C.L. Best, who was an engineering mastermind, took over the business and his remarkable machines earned him the moniker, “the Henry Ford of the track-type tractor.” The Best Manufacturing Company situated in San Leandro, CA manufactured tractors until 1925 when eventually, C.L. Best and Benjamin Holt merged their two companies to form Caterpillar Tractor Company – today’s Caterpillar, Inc.
Daniel Best’s Steam Tractor #185 rolled off the assembly line in 1903 (17′ 4″ tall, 28′ long, and 9′ 7″ wide, weighing 18 tons 800 lbs. with full boiler and tank.) During demonstrations at the California State Fair 1903, the Best tractor pulled 50 tons up an 8% grade, 36 tons up a 12% grade, and 72 tons on level ground. Testimonials state that the tractor would pull 36 seven-inch plows, pulled the equivalent of 60 to 70 horses, and could plow a field of clay and adobe at the rate of 12 acres per hour. The unit sold for $7,500.00.
The power of steam gives Raven SR’s technology the ability to convert any carbonaceous feedstock into a syngas (pre-WGS & PSA) that is 50-55% hydrogen, higher than most processes, including plasma arc gasification. This hydrogen-rich feedstock combined by its patented non-combustion methodology produces higher quantities of fuels (renewable hydrogen or synthetic FT fuels) with fewer emissions than any competitor. In the Best tradition, Raven SR’s innovative technology continues to bring further advancements to transportation and power, and improving our environment.
- San Leandro’s Forgotten Industrial Giant, Daniel Best
- Daniel Best Builds His First Steam Traction Engine Tractor
- The 110 Horsepower Best Steamer
- Steam Tractor 130th Anniversary (video)