Imperium, PNNL developing catalytic process for alcohol-to jet fuel conversion

September 28, 2011 |

In Washington state, Imperium Renewables and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing a catalytic process being developed at PNNL that converts biomass-based alcohols into renewable drop-in jet fuels. Imperium entered into the project in July 2010 through a collaborative research agreement with Battelle, the nonprofit research organization that manages PNNL for DOE.  The ultimate goal is to use the process at a commercial plant such as Imperium’s Grays Harbor biodiesel refinery near Hoquiam.

This work will be further developed as part of a recent award from the Department of Energy towards a new biofuel research project led by LanzaTech. DOE is providing up to $4 million for the project, about $2 million of which is going to PNNL. LanzaTech is developing the first half of the process, which coverts biomass to intermediates such as alcohols, while PNNL is working with Imperium to convert the alcohols produced by LanzaTech into a renewable drop-in jet fuel that works in today’s existing aircraft.

Imperium is also providing in-kind contributions for PNNL’s research and is funding related research at the University of Delaware and Michigan Technological University. Other partners in the new project are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Orochem Technologies and The Boeing Company, with support from The Port of Seattle.

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Category: Research

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