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Hydrothermal Catalysis Flow Process to Convert Brown Grease into Green Gasoline, Green Jet and Green Diesel Fuels

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0018792
Agency Tracking Number: 247160
Amount: $1,049,500.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 08a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001976
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-08-18
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
Research Institution
The primary challenges for creating renewable fuels are the ability to process inexpensive non-food feedstocks into biofuels that meet all quality specification, perform indistinguishably from petroleum-based fuels and are compatible with current infrastructure.Our Phase I project demonstrated the feasibility of producing biofuels from waste greases using a novel hydrothermal, continuous-flow catalytic process operating under supercritical water conditions (SCW) where recycled water is the only added chemical.Currently, 200 billion gallons of gasoline, jet, and diesel fuels were used in the United States in 2017 along with 23 billion gallons of distillate fuel (diesel #2) used for home heating.The Congressionally mandated RFS2 law calls for 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel to be used by 2022.In Phase I studies a mixture of waste brown and yellow greases were converted in a continuous SCW process into 23.4% combustible gaseous products and 76.6% liquid biocrude (by mass) which was refined into 20% green gasoline, 48% green jet, 20% green diesel, and 4% green bunker fuels.Pure green gasoline and green diesel fuels were tested along with a 50% blend of green jet fuel (blended with petroleum Jet A fuel) in their appropriate spark ignition, turbine, and diesel engines (University of MN engine labs).The fuels performed at 107.7%.94.4%, and 101.3% levels compared to their pure petroleum fuel counterparts, respectively and passed all the applicable ASTM biofuel specifications (D4814, D7566, D975).All Phase I goals were successfully met and importantly, the catalyst was found to be fully regenerable and reusable and the water recyclable.A conservative economic model shows a strong business opportunity for an initial 3 million gallon per year biofuel production plant (later scaled up to 10MM), with a DOE investment multiplier of 9.7 over ten years.Phase II research will scale this novel process up to a pilot plant level capable of producing 30 gallons of green fuels per day in a portable computerized model refinery.This will produce enough green fuel fractions for testing in automobile, jet, and tractor diesel engine tests at the University of Minnesota and for all applicable ASTM specification tests to be performed.The full mass and energy balances of the pilot plant will be determined and the process will be scaled to full commercial capacity.In Phase II further pure model compounds (ones typically found in brown grease) will also be run through the process and analyzed to understand the chemical mechanisms at work by leading researchers at the University of Minnesota.This will allow for a fundamental understanding of this novel process to better optimize the production of high-quality biofuels.Green biofuels are sustainable, better for the environment, and will result in the creation of domestic jobs in the clean energy sector using waste materials that are typically sent to landfills.With this proposal, we seek to commercialize a revolutionary continuous biofuel technology to help satisfy the growing demand for green gasoline, green jet, and green diesel fuels in the United States.

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

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