Recent News

Shell Signs Agreement with SBI BioEnergy for Carbon Negative Drop-In Biofuel Technology

20 July 2017 – Shell and SBI BioEnergy have signed a contract giving Shell exclusive development and licensing rights to SBI BioEnergy’s patented carbon negative drop-in biofuel. This technology, a continuous catalytic process called PICFTR or “Process Intensifying Continuous Flow-Through Reaction,” can convert a range of lipid feedstocks into renewable drop-in gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

The two companies will collaborate to demonstrate the potential of SBI’s technology, and plan to scale up for commercial production by the end of the decade. Demonstration will occur at SBI’s new drop-in renewable diesel and jet fuel facility in Edmonton, Alberta. See the SBI BioEnergy press release and Biofuels Digest article for more information about the demonstration, licensing agreement, and the new technology.

ChemCatBio Offering Funding for Catalyst and Related Technology Development for Biofuels

July 18, 2017—The Chemical Catalysis for Bioenergy (ChemCatBio) consortium is offering funding assistance to industry partners developing catalysts and related technologies to improve the commercialization of biofuels and chemicals by leveraging the resources available at the U.S. Department of Energy National Labs. Proposals should identify how leveraging these provided capabilities will overcome a technical challenge, and are due at 5 p.m. on Friday, August 11, 2017. Up to $1 million will be awarded per project with a maximum of three years duration. For more information visit the ChemCatBio website.

DOE Awards $40 Million for Advancement of Bioenergy Research

July 17, 2017—The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the allocation of $40 million in awards to DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) to advance the development of bioproducts and bioenergy. The four selected centers include the Great Lakes BRC (U. of Wisconsin – Madison and Michigan State U.), the Center for Bioenergy Innovation (Oak Ridge National Lab), the Joint BioEnergy Institute (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab), and the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation (U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). The Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation is new, whereas the other three received previous funding under the program. This funding has supported research exploring feedstock deconstruction methods, plant feedstock reengineering, efficient fuel production through microbe engineering, and exploration of sustainable agricultural processes. With the grant, the BRCs will broaden this focus from biofuels to include bio-based product development. For more information on award specifics and the BRCs, click here.

CAAFI R&D and Sustainability Teams Host SOAP-Jet Webinar: Industrial Ecology Frameworks for Sustainable Aviation Fuel Development

26 June 2017 – Seminars On Alternatives to Petroleum (SOAP)-Jet webinars are intended to provide a forum for members of the sustainable alternative jet fuel (SAJF) community to discuss progress, gaps, and challenges, while sharing lessons learned, methodologies, and strategies to promote communication amongst stakeholders and to enable further commercialization of SAJF.

The latest CAAFI SOAP-Jet Webinar, titled “Industrial Ecology Frameworks for Sustainable Aviation Fuel Development,” took place on June 16th. Industrial Ecology is a systems-based, multidisciplinary approach to understanding the design and emergent properties of human industrial activities. It seeks to transition the industry from linear, single-pass, waste-generating supply chains that convert inputs to products towards more closed-loop, circular-economy systems in which wastes become inputs, and resources and facilities are shared. This webinar provided an overview of Industrial Ecology and its specific application to the design of systems for SAJF technologies deployment. Dr. Valerie Thomas of Georgia Tech provided an introduction discussing the theme and utility of Industrial Ecology, while Dr. Laurel Harmon of Lanzatech provided illustrative examples of her company’s efforts to develop the circular economy. The webinar also featured a facilitated discussion on how this framework addresses several challenges to commercialize SAJF.

To view the presentation click here.

DLR/Lufthansa release high blend-level AJF study

16 June 2017- The German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Lufthansa Technik have produced a study on the performance and fit-for-purpose testing of high blend alternative jet fuels (AJF). Fuels from six different pathways were analyzed, including coal-to-liquid (CTL) from Sasol, hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) from UOP, synthetic isoparaffinic kerosene (SIP) from Amyris, isobutanol-based alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) from Gevo, ATJ-synthetic kerosene with aromatics (SKA) from Swedish Biofuels, and catalytic hydrothermolysis (CH) fuel from ARA. Testing was performed on a disconnected aero-engine as a part of a special testing rig provided by Lufthansa Technik. This study found that CH fuel, which includes aromatics, performed similarly to conventional kerosene with regard to elastomer seal swell, unlike aromatic-free AJF. The study also showed that complete synthetic jet fuel with aromatics, such as CH, shows no change in particulate or other emissions relative to petroleum-based fuel, whereas AJF without aromatics shows a reduction in particulates. The team identifies this tradeoff of seal swell versus emissions as one that the aviation sector can now explicitly optimize with alternative jet fuels, rather than being constrained to dealing with the level of aromatics in petroleum-based fuels. Currently, high blend level SAJF has not been certified by ASTM, but researchers at DLR are excited about prospects to reduce the carbon footprint by diverting from traditional fossil fuels.

To read more, here is the full report.

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