Breakthrough Technology to Advance the Navy"s Great Green Fleet Initiative
Microfibrous entrapped catalysts (MFECs) made of a thermally conductive fibrous structure containing micron-sized metal fibers will be used to help the Navy to achieve its Great Green Fleet Initiative milestones. MFEC based Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (FTS) will convert biomass and/or bio-based carbon resources into high-quality liquid fuels with a ca. 50% reduction in Lifetime Green Gas Emissions (LGGE) compared with current biorefining processes. In the preceding Phase II effort, IntraMicron demonstrated that MFECs provided a 250-fold increase in effective thermal conductivity relative to packed beds, generating a near-isothermal temperature profile inside a 1.5"ID FTS reactor. Jet fuel was produced at the maximum theoretical selectivity while meeting the desired production rate specified by ONR. By simultaneously enhancing heat and mass transfer, MFECs permit the use of reactor diameters far greater than conventional systems without sacrificing the volumetric fuel production rate and jet fuel selectivity. This enables FTS process intensification with significant CAPEX and OPEX reductions and allows green fuels to be produced at an acceptable price level for the Navy. Modular FTS reactors can be installed for fuel production at different scales, and they can be used as stand-alone systems or combined with current biorefineries for greener fuel production.
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