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Renewable Fuel Production System (RFPS)

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITE
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717-1961
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Renewable Fuel Production System (RFPS)
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N68335-11-C-0108
Award Amount: $70,000.00


Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) propose to develop the Renewable Fuel Production System (RFPS), a system which will produce liquid alkene-based transportation fuels from lignocellulosic biomass. Specifically, we propose to investigate the production of levulinic acid (LA) and/or gamma-valerolactone (GVL) from lignocellulose; both of these platform chemicals are intermediates which serve as inputs to the catalytic production of butene. Our overall strategy relies on an efficient, high-yield process developed at UW-Madison to produce liquid alkene fuels from GVL, a derivative easily obtained from pure LA. Taken as a whole, this process is a promising roadmap for producing liquid transportation fuels from cellulosic biomass. However, it is currently limited in application by the availability of high-grade, low-cost LA and GVL. In the proposed work, we will focus on the production and purification of LA and/or GVL, with the intent of using these as inputs to the already-developed GVL-to-oligomers process. Our proposed research seeks improved options for the preparation and purification of LA and/or GVL that are effective, environmentally acceptable, and energetically efficient. This focus was selected because improved efficiency in this technology will have the greatest impact on the feasibility of cellulosic fuel production.

Principal Investigator:

Christopher Clair
Principal Aerospace Engin
(608) 229-2727

Business Contact:

Eric Rice
(608) 229-2730
Small Business Information at Submission:

Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC)
Space Center, 1212 Fourier Drive Madison, WI -

EIN/Tax ID: 391628664
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
3014 Engineering Hall
1415 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI 53706-
Contact: James Dumesic
Contact Phone: (608) 262-1095