Chevron Lummus and ARA partner with Agrisoma, US AFRL and Canada’s NRC to evaluate and to flight test ReadiJet 100% renewable biojet fuel
|Overview of the ReadiJet process. Click to enlarge.|
Applied Research Associates (ARA) and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) are partnering with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), and Agrisoma Biosciences Inc. to evaluate CLG and ARA’s 100% drop-in ReadiJet Fuel derived from Agrisoma Resonance feedstock.
The ReadiJet effort combines ARA’s CH PROCESS technology— a catalytic hydrothermolysis (CH) process to convert triglycerides (e.g., crop oils and animal fats) to non-ester biofuels or intermediates—with Chevron Lummus Global’s ISOCONVERSION process technology to create drop-in biofuels that will be ready to use at 100% levels in jet and diesel engines, eliminating the need for blending with petroleum-derived fuels. (Earlier post.)
The Biofuel ISOCONVERSION Process comprises:
ARA’s Catalytic Hydrothermolysis (CH) process for the conversion of plant oils into a high quality crude oil intermediate. The technology is proven in mature pilot systems. A US patent was granted to ARA in 2010 on the CH process.
CLG’s ISOCONVERSION Catalysts efficiently upgrade the crude oil intermediate produced by the CH reactor into on-specification, finished fuels. The final products are all fungible and nearly identical to petroleum-derived fuels. ReadiJet Fuel is tailored to meet all commercial and military jet fuel specifications.
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 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 process.
Systems onboard the Falcon 20 will allow NRC’s flight research team to switch back and forth between the two fuel types throughout the flight. During the test flight, a second aircraft, the National Research Council’s T33 jet, will fly behind the Falcon 20 to measure the emissions of the engine operating on both the ReadiJet biofuel and on conventional petroleum-based aviation fuel.
These data will be the first of its kind to evaluate biojet fuel emissions of an aircraft engine operating on 100% biofuel. NRC’s unique expertise will support Agrisoma Biosciences and CLG/ARA efforts to validate the Resonance-based ReadiJet biofuel as a viable and sustainable option for the aviation industry.
Resonance is a member of the mustard oilseed crop family, and was introduced into commercial production in Canada in 2012. Agrisoma Biosciences Inc., a long-time NRC partner, commercialized the oilseed to provide the industry with a sustainable energy feedstock crop: a non-food, industrial oilseed that is well-suited for production in semi-arid areas, making it ideal for producers who can grow the crops on marginal land.
The integrated ARA/CLG Biofuel ISOCONVERSION process and Agrisoma’s Resonance feedstock provide a pathway for fulfilling the commercial and military markets’ requirements for alternative fuels at parity with petroleum while spurring opportunities for farmers. We look forward to this partnership with NRC to help us validate the combination of Canadian developed and grown feedstocks and our processing technology as a leading alternative fuel solution.—Chuck Red, ARA’s Alternative Fuels Program lead
CLG licenses refining hydroprocessing technologies and catalyst systems worldwide, and is a 50-50 joint venture between Chevron Products Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, and Lummus Technology Inc., a CB&I Company. ARA is an international research and engineering company.
Agrisoma Biosciences is a Canada-based agricultural biotechnology company that has commercialized a sustainable feedstock crop solution for the biofuels industry. The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada’s premier organization for research and development.