Konza Renewable Fuels consists of six partners with a firm commitment to renewable fuels research and development. Konza takes its name from the Konza Prairie located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas. The Konza partners bring together expertise in engineering, design, project management, manufacturing, industrial plant operation, research and development, and business administration. Konza partners have over 60 combined years of experience in:

  • handling and sourcing biomass
  • designing and operating industrial equipment
  • fabricating and installing industrial equipment

Meet the team

Josh Thompson

Stan Thompson

Ted Thompson

Brad Applegarth

Dan Sharp

Neal Spencer



To make cleaner, renewable energy sources more available.


We believe we should be good stewards of the earth and its resources by using renewable, cleaner, and safer fuels to provide power to the world.


A world where renewable fuels replace fossil fuels.​


In 2010 leaders of Thompson Dryers and Ernest-Spencer came together to form Konza Renewable Fuels (KRF). Konza torrefaction systems are designed with Thompson Dryers‘ technology and fabricated by Ernest-Spencer.

Since 1945 Thompson dryer systems have been proven in numerous industrial continuous drying applications including wood chips, Distillers Dried Grains with Solubles from ethanol production, bagasse, oriented strand board strands, and alfalfa. Thompson Dryers holds more than 25 patents specific to industrial dehydrating equipment and extensive experience servicing and redesigning existing dryers for maximum performance.

For nearly  a century Ernest-Spencer companies have been combining traditional American craftsmanship with advanced manufacturing technology to support business and industry.  Ernest-Spencer’s focus is on providing superior quality metal fabrication, precision machine shop services, customer coatings, and specialty manufacturing services.

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As the search for alternative fuel sources intensifies, Konza Renewable Fuels has garnered attention for its simplistic process that produces a product that can run in a coal-fired power plant without costly modifications. Becky Long, dryer design engineer, recently gave a presentation on torrefaction technology at the Biomass Carbonization and Torrefaction Summit in Atlanta, Georgia. Process Heating magazine recently published an article written by Becky explaining how Thompson Dryers’ technology solves problems with inconsistent feed stock size – a precursor hurdle to effectively torrefying biomass. 


APRIL 16, 2018

Becky Long of Thomspon Dryers (Konza’s sister company) gave a presentation on torrefaction at the Biomass Carbonization & Torrefaction Summit in Atlanta, Georgia in April 2018. Download her presentation materials here.

APRIL 2018

Becky Long, dryer design engineer,  discusses how rotary-drum dryers can resolve problems with inconsistent feedstocks. The dryers can process green biomass, which can co-fire with biomass applications – to a material of uniform moisture content. Read more of the article in Process Heating Magazine here.


A group of companies in the Topeka and Meriden, Kansas, area created Konza Renewable Fuels to focus on commercializing wood torrefaction technology five years ago and are now in the process of fabricating the equipment for their first sale. Read more here

Topeka Capital Journal, Topeka’s local newspaper, interviewed business partners Ted Thompson, Neal Spencer, and Brad Applegarth to learn more about torrefaction and the company’s ties to the Topeka community. 


​To learn more about torrefaction and its numerouos applications please follow this link to Bioenergy Fridays: Torrefaction. This is the 6th event of the Bioenergy Fridays Webinar Series, hosted by Ed Brokesh, Kansas State University Extension, Dept of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and the extension Farm Energy Community of Practice. It features an interview with Konza representatives and answers many questions you may have.

The Wapiti name comes from the Native American Cree and Shawnee word for elk “white rump”. The Wapiti torrefaction system can produce 12 tonnes an hour. The wapiti is the second largest member of the deer family; the moose being the largest. The males can grow to the size of a horse. In its prime, the male Wapiti’s antlers can weigh 18 kg and be as tall as the animal. Antlers can grow up to 2.5 centimeters per day. The antlers have blood flow while growing, which provides cooling to the adult male during the heat of summer. Mountain lions, wolf packs and man are the wapiti’s major predators. Wapiti are found in North America and the high mountains of Central Asia.  

The Woodchuck, answers the age-old question, how much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? We now know it to be 6 tonnes an hour. 

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