Transformative Technologies 2010 nominees: Chemical reforming technologies and hydrotreating

June 7, 2010 |

Nominations: Chemical re-forming technologies and hydrotreating
To vote in Transformative Technologies 2010, visit here.

In December, the Air Transport Association of America announced that 14 airlines from the US, Canada, Germany and Mexico have signed MOUs with AltAir Fuels – for the entire output of a new biofuel facility that will be constructed in Mississippi and Washington state. Twelve airlines from the United States, Canada, Germany and Mexico – Air Canada, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx Express, JetBlue Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, Mexicana Airlines, Polar Air Cargo, United Airlines, UPS Airlines and US Airways – have signed MOUs with both producers.

The Domsjö plant will have the capacity to supply well over 2000 heavy trucks with fuel. According to Chemrec, with fully implemented renewable fuel production at all pulp mills in Sweden, half of all heavy road transports could be propelled by BioDME, reducing CO2 emissions for the country by 10 percent sand saving $1.5 billion in fossil fuel imports.

Dynamic Fuels
One of the fuels under study at Wright-Patterson is Dynamic Fuels — the joint venture of Tyson and Syntroleum, which will commence producing 75 Mgy of renewable diesel, and renewable jet fuel, based on the company’s R-8 platform, produced from animal fats and vegetable oil s by the company’s Bio-Synfining process. The Air Force Research Laboratory recently tested 600 gal of R-8 for short. According to a report from Wright-Patterson, “initial physical property and T63 engine testing indicates R-8’s performance as indistinguishable from that of S-8, Syntroleum’s Fischer-Tropsch synthetic jet fuel that first flew in 2006 aboard the B-52. Additional tests of R-8 are underway, with the product also entering the first stages of the MIL-HDBK-510 Alternative Fuel Certification Process.”

Mitchell Technology

Mitchell Technology uses Catalyzed Ionic Impact reaction in a technical parameter space selected to exploit energy from biomass that is otherwise not accessible by traditional chemical means. The basic reaction is a published fact of science, not a secret. There are however little known if not typically ignored aspects of the reaction that are well suited to help exploit the immense amount of energy in biomass available through catalytic restructuring .

Neste Oil
Last July, Neste Oil said that its new 170,000 tonne biodiesel plant at its Porvoo refinery has successfully completed start-up and was running at full capacity. The plant doubles the company’s biodiesel capacity at Porvoo, and the company is also expected to complete 800,000 tonne biodiesel plants in Singapore in 2010 and Rotterdam in 2011, which will be the largest plants in the world.

UOP, a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) company, announced a memorandum of understanding with Indian Oil Corp (IOCL) to evaluate installation of a demonstration-scale unit to produce advanced biofuels. The UOP/Eni Ecofining process uses catalytic hydroprocessing technology to convert natural oils and animal fats to Honeywell Green Diesel fuel. The product, which is chemically indistinguishable from traditional diesel fuel, offers improved performance including a higher cetane value, excellent cold-flow performance and reduced emissions over both biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel.


In March, Virent and Shell announced the successful startup of the Virent “Eagle” demonstration plant, producing 10,000 gallons per year of biogasoline, a drop-in renewable fuel. The “Eagle” project represents a 100X scaleup from the company’s previous bench level, and utilizes sugars derived from biomass, passed over over catalytic process, similar to oil refinery. Virent CEO Lee Edwards said that the company is using primarily sugarbeet sugar, and has tested cane, corn in the pilot plant as well; at bench level, the company has also tested sugars from non-food biomass.

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