NREL’s SAF pilot program receives additional $350K funding for SAF research

December 5, 2021 |

In Colorado, the Bioenergy Technologies Office has awarded an additional $350,000 in funding to scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop a pilot scale system for turning biomass into sustainable aviation fuel and is based on the NREL team’s latest research on using its fully integrated process to produce a fuel precursor, in this case, butyric acid, from lignocellulosic sugars, or sugars derived from dried plant material.

Butyric acid is a promising precursor for diesel and jet fuel and is typically developed from a colorless, petroleum-derived gas called propylene. Through their research, the NREL scientists estimate that their biomass-derived butyric acid could result in a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional biological production routes and can be sold at 55% of the current selling price of petroleum-derived butyric acid.

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Category: Research

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