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UOP To Develop Technology to Produce Bio JP-8 for Military Jets

28 June 2007

Uopjet
The UOP/Eni Ecofining process supports the possible co-production of propane, naphtha, and high quality jet fuel. Click to enlarge.

UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, will accelerate research and development on renewable energy technology to convert vegetable and algal oils to fuels for military jets.

The goal of the project, which is backed by $6.7 million in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is to develop and to commercialize a process to produce Jet Propellant 8 (JP-8)—used by US and NATO militaries—from biofeedstocks. This is UOP’s first project with DARPA.

UOP will work with Honeywell Aerospace, Cargill, Arizona State University, Sandia National Laboratories and Southwest Research Institute on the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2008. Fuel produced by the new process will have to meet stringent military specifications and is expected to achieve 90% energy efficiency for maximum conversion of feed to fuel, reduced waste and reduced production costs. UOP expects the technology will be viable for future use in the production of jet fuel for commercial jets.

The focus of our renewable energy efforts has been to develop technologies that align with today’s standard refinery practices, but allow a broader range of feedstock options. We are confident that we have assembled a strong team of experts that will be successful in proving the viability of biofeedstock technologies for JP-8 and other jet fuels, while offering the US military another option for sustainable liquid fuels critical to their programs.

—Jennifer Holmgren, director of UOP’s Renewable Energy and Chemicals business unit

UOP formed its Renewable Energy & Chemicals business unit in late 2006 to commercialize solutions for production of renewable biofuel energy. At that time, UOP announced it has developed, along with European energy company Eni, a processs that uses hydro-processing technology and refinery hardware to convert vegetable oils and waste into a high-cetane renewable diesel fuel with low emissions and high efficiency. The UOP/Eni Ecofining output is a hydrocarbon product, not an oxygenated compound.

Earlier this month, UOP announced ENI will build the first Ecofining facility in Italy. The facility is projected to start up in early 2009. (Earlier post.)

DARPA, the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense (DoD), opened up its Biofuels BAA (Broad Agency Announcement—i.e., funding opportunities) in July 2006. The agency is seeking proposals for research and development efforts to develop a process that efficiently produces a surrogate for petroleum-based JP-8 from oil-rich crops produced by either agriculture or aquaculture (including but not limited to plants, algae, fungi, and bacteria) and which ultimately can be an affordable alternative to petroleum-derived JP-8.

Current processes for biodiesel (fatty acid methyl ester) produce a fuel that is 25% lower in energy density than JP-8 and exhibits unacceptable cold-flow features at the lower extreme of the required JP-8 operating regime (-50°F) and so is unsuitable for military operations. Subsequent secondary processing of biodiesel is currently inefficient and results in a biofuel JP-8 being prohibitively expensive, according to DARPA.

The primary technical objective of the DARPA BioFuels program is to achieve a 60% (or greater) conversion efficiency, by energy content, of crop oil to JP-8 surrogate and to demonstrate a path to 90% conversion.

Program participants are expected to deliver a minimum of 100 liters of JP-8 surrogate biofuel for initial government laboratory qualification.

In December 2006, DARPA awarded the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota approximately $5 million for the development and demonstration of a new domestic bio jet fuel as part of the program.

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June 28, 2007 in Aviation, Biomass, Fuels | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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Comments

Perfect, want something done, ask the US military.

Hydrogenating fatty acid makes a superior fuel then methyl/Ethyl esters but it requires hydrogen.
1 Fatty Acid + <3H2 -> 1 Hydrocarbon + 1 "Acid gas"
1 Fatty Acid + 3H2 -> 1 Hydrocarbon
1 Fatty Acid + >3H2 -> >1 Lighter chain hydrocarbons
Why not just catalytically remove the carboxyl group from the fatty acid?
1 Fatty Acid -> 1 CO2 + 1 Hydrocarbon
Then crack it to make the desired hydrocarbons, this way it saves some energy.

The lower/non-existent sulfur levels in proposed xTL JP-8 will decrease air pollution (at the end user). This will be a boon for soldiers, marines, sailors, airmen and anyone else who operate in the vicinity of diesel/jet turbine equipment. Additionally, cleaner fuel means cleaner jet exhaust, and less pervasive contrails. Furthermore, the reduction/elimination of jet contrails enhances visual stealth (for military aircraft).

If the military are given free range to invest in whatever they want for their needs, followed by universities and a select group of corporations, consider this as a form of inequality perpetrated on us the taxpayer. An equanimous distribution of funds is called upon, so other groups and individuals can participate in changing the face of our country, overburdened by an over funded minority (usual suspects), who presume to know what we need, and continue profitting from the use of our hard and honestly earned money we are taxed on. We are literally a sick and tired country with a deteriorated education and health system. Our tax money has one only purpose: and that is to maintain and improve our overall wellbeing(Better education, supporting greater critical thinking, and a good Universal health program.) Taxation without proper representation can only take us into a downward spiral that will reduce us into a splintered country. This toxic self appointed minority that insist in ruling us, have no scrooples and will not stop until we self distruct. They will continue to try to " divide and conquer us" again and again. To let them, is tantamount to mass suicide.
Right or left politics is a game we play that feeds only a greater forms of greed. We are all in that game that has to stop somewhere. What if we start by getting represented in government by higher caliber of people that will listen to our needs and represent us without any external strings attached( campaign contributions)

It's imperative that the SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION be funded to the point it matches the military complex ,the universities and corporations.

By making funds available, at least as seed money for the small inventor that can generate solutions much faster than the existing leviathans we have today, we could be helping not only ourselves on our way to a more humane and joyful experience as a country, but also bring a much needed balance to the world at large.

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