Applied Research Associates: Biofuels Digest’s 2014 5-Minute Guide

February 24, 2014 |

Company description:

Applied Research Associates (ARA) is an international research and engineering company recognized for providing technically excellent solutions to complex and challenging problems in the physical sciences. Our mission is to provide in-depth and diversified research, engineering, and technical support services. We have a broad range of technical expertise in defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, environmental technologies, and blast testing and measurement.

Type of Technology

The Biofuels ISOCONVERSION Process utilizes patented Catalytic Hydrothermolysis (CH) reactor technology, developed by Applied Research Associates (ARA), which utilizes water as a catalyst to quickly and inexpensively convert plant oils into stable intermediate oil products which are very similar to petroleum crude oil. The intermediate oils are processed with hydrogen using CLG’s ISOCONVERSION catalysts to produce drop-in jet fuel and diesel. Unlike most other process technologies, the renewable fuels produced by this process are 100% replacements for petroleum-based jet and diesel fuel.”

ARA scientists developed the CH Process using high temperature water to create biocrude.  A U.S. patent on the CH Process technology was granted to ARA in 2010.

Feedstocks

The drop-in fuel was produced using AgrisomaResonance Energy Feedstock, a dedicated industrial oilseed that was launched at commercial scale in 2012 across a broad region of western Canada.  Resonance Energy Feedstock produces a unique industrial oil ideally suited for biofuel manufacturing.  Resonance is part of a new generation of sustainable and scalable biomass crops, specially developed to provide a non-food oil that represent a step change for the renewable fuels industry, breaking the reliance on food crops to supply feedstock for biofuel manufacturing.

Top Past Milestones

In September 2012, Applied Research Associates, Chevron Lummus Global, the National Research Council of Canada, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory and Agrisoma Biosciences, announced an agreement to CLG and ARA’s 100% drop-in ReadiJet Fuel. ARA and NRC will test the renewable jet fuel against ASTM and military specifications and evaluate the fuel in ground based engine tests, with the initiative culminating in a test flight with the NRC Falcon-20 twin engine jet. This flight will be the first time in the world a jet aircraft is powered by 100%, un-blended, renewable jet fuel that meets petroleum jet fuel specifications. The biofuel, ReadiJet, was produced by ARA, under contract to AFRL, from Agrisoma’s Resonance feedstock crop using CLG’s and ARA’s breakthrough Biofuel ISOCONVERSION process.

Future Milestones

Commercial deployment.

Business Model:

Licensing.

Competitive Edge(s):

CLG’s Co-Managing Director, Leon DeBruyn, commented on the ARA-CLG relationship. “With the combination of ARA’s CH Process and CLG’s Isoconversion process technology, we can now produce fungible distillate fuels that meet full ASTM quality requirements and can be blended into refiners’ distillate fuel pools without the density and blending quality issues associated with other biodiesel processes on the market,” he said.

To date, flights on biofuels have been restricted to a 50% blend with petroleum, imposing limitations on fuel use. Using Applied Research Associates’ proprietary catalytic hydrothermolysis process, oil from Resonance Energy Feedstock was converted into a fuel that represents a complete replacement for conventional jet fuel, enabling flight at 100% biofuel use, a breakthrough for the renewable fuels industry. This historic flight symbolizes a significant step not only for the aerospace industry, but also towards advancing sustainable sources of renewable energy.

“Today, I flew the world’s first 100 percent biofuel flight,’’ said Tim Leslie, NRC pilot. “We have been working hard with our partners for many months, and it is most rewarding to see it all come together. It is truly inspiring to take this step towards an eco-friendly future!’’

“This flight represents the culmination of a significant and strategic effort within Canada to demonstrate leadership ingreen aviation, from the commercialization of a sustainable and scalable feedstock crop to an “at altitude” flight demonstration with real-time emissions monitoring during the flight.  Agrisoma is proud to be a part of this landmark work,” said Steven Fabijanski, President and CEO of Agrisoma, who was present on the tarmac.  “To date, all powered flight has relied on fossil fuel. This flight changes everything: we have witnessed petroleum free aviation.”

Distribution, Research, Marketing or Production Partnerships or Alliances.

In May 2012, ARA announced that Chevron Lummus Global has joined the ReadiJet Alternative Fuel Initiative to develop drop-in biofuels for jet and diesel engines, eliminating the need for blending with petroleum.   The joint development effort combines ARA’s CH PROCESS technology with Chevron Lummus Global’s ISOCONVERSION process technology.  Commercial samples of ReadiJet™ fuel are currently being produced in anticipation of a number of key upcoming activities including ground engine testing at OEM facilities, a test flight planned for June 2012 and generation of fit-for-purpose data necessary for ASTM certification.

In August 2012, Aemetis announced a license agreement with Chevron Lummus Global for the inexpensive, rapid production of renewable jet and diesel fuel by the conversion of existing biofuels and petroleum refineries. The license agreement grants Aemetis Advanced Fuels Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aemetis, the use of the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION Process for the production of 100% drop-in renewable jet fuel and diesel in Aemetis biorefineries throughout North America. The license agreement grants Aemetis Advanced Fuels Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aemetis, the use of the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION Process for the production of 100% drop-in renewable jet fuel and diesel in Aemetis biorefineries throughout North America.

In January 2013, Applied Research Associates and Blue Sun Energy announced a partnership to build a biofuels isoconversion process demonstration system to produce drop-in renewable jet fuel, diesel, and gasoline. The demonstration facility is scheduled to break ground in St. Joseph, Mo, in Q1 of 2013 and will be operational by Q3 of 2013.

Stage:

Demonstration, ready for commercial.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Tags:

Category: 5-Minute Guide

Thank you for visting the Digest.