Hydrothermal Catalysis to Flow Process Brown Grease into Biofuels and Biochemicals

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0018792
Agency Tracking Number: 237738
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 08a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001771
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2018-07-02
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-01-01
Small Business Information
617 Pierce Street, Anoka, MN, 55303-1601
DUNS: 108496662
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ronald Fedie
 (763) 421-1072
Business Contact
 Peter Greuel
Phone: (763) 421-1072
Email: petegreuel@sartec.com
Research Institution
Brown grease, from trap grease and wastewater floatable mass, has substantial potential as a raw material to produce sustainable biofuels and biochemicals, but high sulfur, water, and impurities contents make processing difficult or end products outside of specifications. A good percentage of brown grease ends up in landfills. This project addresses the ability to turn brown grease into clean product compounds on a scale in line with regional brown grease outputs. This project will demonstrate the feasibility of turning brown grease into valid biofuels and other high-value biochemicals. A proprietary hydrothermal catalysis flow process performed at supercritical water conditions will use only brown grease, water, and renewable co-catalysts as input materials.A fixed catalyst is expected to be fully regenerable for a long indefinite lifetime. Catalysts, co-catalysts, temperature, pressure, and input concentrations will be varied and bioproducts will be analyzed to optimize the best yield and high-value output. At optimal conditions, brown grease will be converted into a product biocrude liquid mixture that will be separated by membrane filtration and distillation techniques into fuel fractions and pure compounds. Complete output values will be used to develop engineering and economic plans for a scale-up in Phase II that will model a commercialization facility. This novel process would produce renewable bioproducts with the potential to economically compete and replace a considerable volume of petroleum-based compounds in industrial markets with biofuels: biogasoline, biojet, and biodiesel, as well as green monomers, solvents, and synthetic pharmaceutical precursors.The minor percentage of brown grease converted to product hydrocarbon gases can be used as process heating fuel.Besides fuels, there is potential to create sustainable materials such as recyclable plastics that are currently only derived from petroleum cracking processes.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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