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Novozymes launches commercial enzyme technology to convert waste oils into biodiesel

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Novozymes has launched Eversa Transform, the first commercially available enzymatic solution (a liquid lipase) to convert both glycerides and free fatty acids (FFA) into biodiesel. Existing biodiesel process designs have difficulty handling oils containing more than 0.5%

2014 102

AliphaJet joins Advanced Biofuels Association, beginning commercial scale-up of catalytic process to convert plant oils to drop-in fuels

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the developer of a cost-effective catalytic decarboxylation (CDC) process for making jet fuel, diesel and high-octane gasoline from renewable plant oils or animal fats ( earlier post ), has joined the Advanced Biofuels Association (ABFA) and is beginning its commercial scale-up program. AliphaJet’s BoxCar catalytic de-oxygenation process (decarboxylation) converts renewable oils and fats into drop-in advanced biofuels by removing oxygen to create true hydrocarbon fuels.

2012 78

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QUT, Mercurius Australia partner on pilot plant to convert sugarcane waste to jet and diesel fuel; REACH

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The patented REACH technology, developed by US-based parent company Mercurius Biorefining, has the potential to convert sugarcane bagasse and other biomass into cost effective drop-in biofuels and bio-chemicals, as alternatives to fossil fuels.

2019 112

New catalyst system for converting castor-oil-derived ricinoleic acid methyl ester into jet fuel; up to 90% carbon selectivity

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A common challenge in bio-jet fuel production is the high cost due to the feedstock and processing technology. Although hydro-processing of lipid and fatty acid is well-known, the yield of jet fuel from typical lipid based oil with mainly C 18 fatty acid is quite low (about 35–40%). The major reason for the low overall yield is the necessity of a hydrocracking step for converting the C 18 or C 16 alkane into jet fuel range paraffin (C 9 –C 15 ), the researchers explained.

2016 60

Neste Oil de-emphasizing microbial oil R&D for renewable diesel; seeking other uses for cellulosic biomass

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Neste Oil produces NExBTL diesel (and its other renewable fuel cousins such as jet fuel) by using a proprietary process to hydrogenate vegetable oil or animal fat feedstocks. The time is not yet ripe for a commercial-scale microbial oil plant, however.

2014 133

A*STAR team combines fungal culture and acid hydrolyses for cost-effective production of fermentable sugars from palm oil waste

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Researchers from A*STAR in Singapore have developed a fungal culture for use in a cheap and efficient method to transform waste oil palm material into biofuels and environmentally friendly plastics. After the harvest of the fruit from oil palm trees, large amounts of leftover biomass known as empty fruit bunch remain. The palm oil waste contains cellulose and hemicellulose that can be broken down into sugars for use in fuel and plastic production.

2015 74

Opinion: Oil Market ShowdownCan Russia Outlast The Saudis?

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November 27, oil consuming countries will celebrate the first anniversary of the Saudi decision to let market forces determine prices. per barrel oil in 2015 and 2016 respectively, while the October projections are based $51.62 Market Background Oil Opinion Russia

Russia 112

Converting glycerol from biodiesel production into bio-gasoline

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McDonald describe their study of converting methanol (MTG) and a mixture of methanol and glycerol (MGTG) into gasoline-range hydrocarbons using a bench-top, fixed-bed microreactor. The technology of converting methanol into gasoline was discovered and commercialized more than 3 decades ago. For the conversion of glycerol into fuels, most research focuses on the gasification of glycerol to produce syngas that can be further converted into gasoline or diesel via Fischer?Tropsch

2013 96

MIT researchers advancing development of supercritical water upgrading of heavy crude; lower cost, energy use and CO2

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Supercritical water upgrading (SCWU) of heavy oils has been of interest for years in industry and academia; SCWU reduces sulfur content and decreases average molecular weight or crude without rejecting carbon as coke products. Fuels Oil

2015 109

Gevo develops process for low-cost renewable isoprene; building block for rubber and rubber products

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has developed a proprietary catalytic process that transforms low-cost commercially available, or even waste by-product, renewable alcohols into renewable isoprene that would be expected to compete head-to-head on price with natural and petroleum-based chemical equivalents while reducing CO 2 emissions. Fusel oils from the ethanol industry alone equate to about 2.5 I look forward to seeing this one get commercially developed. Gevo, Inc.

2019 77

MAHLE developing portfolio of solutions for fuel cell drives in commercial vehicles

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MAHLE is developing a modular fuel cell systems portfolio focused on commercial vehicles, based on its current range of components. New opportunities are opening up for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. Fuel cells are also sensitive to oil admixtures.

2018 101

Siluria Technologies raises $30M in Series C to commercialize its OCM process for converting natural gas into commodity chemicals and transportation fuels

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Ethylene is a highly flexible chemical intermediate that can be converted to lower-cost fuels, chemicals, and materials.The company had closed a $20-million Series B in September 2011. The Series C financing will help fund the construction of a commercial demonstration the plant and support the commercialization of the company’s technology. OCM converts methane into ethane and ethylene (C 2 hydrocarbons). The difference is cost.

2012 78

New fast hydrothermal process converts 65% of wet algae feedstock sample to biocrude in one minute

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Phillip Savage at the University of Michigan has found that with appropriate parameters, hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) can convert 65% of wet algae (a Nannochloropsis species) into biocrude in one minute. Biocrude from Nannochloropsis. Credit: Savage Lab. Click to enlarge.

2012 128

QUB team converts aluminum foil waste to highly active alumina; biofuel catalyst, other applications

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Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have developed a novel green route to convert aluminium foil waste into highly active nano-mesoporous alumina (γ-Al 2 O 3 ) (designated as ACFL550). The material shows higher surface area, larger pore volume, and stronger acidity compared to γ-Al 2 O 3 that is produced from the commercial AlCl 3 precursor, AC550.

2017 69

Gevo and Mansfield Oil sign commercial off-take and strategic alliance agreements for renewable isobutanol

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has entered into a strategic marketing alliance with Mansfield Oil Company to distribute isobutanol-based fuel into the petroleum market. In addition the companies signed a commercial off-take agreement—Gevo’s second commercial off-take agreement to date and its first in the fuel industry. Mansfield markets and distributes fuel to thousands of commercial customers across all 50 states and has over 900 supply points across the country. Gevo, Inc.

2011 71

U. Calgary analysis of energy balances and emissions of SAGD oil sands production finds need for improved processes; some operations not thermally efficient or net generators of energy

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Plot of cumulative steam-to-oil ratio (cSOR) vs. ratio of energy produced in form of chemical energy contained in bitumen if combusted to energy injected in form of steam (75% efficient steam generation). Emissions Oil sands

Amyris and Cosan establishing JV for production and commercialization of renewable base oils

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and Cosan SA Industria e Comércio have executed a binding agreement to establish a joint venture for the worldwide development, production and commercialization of renewable base oils. Base oils are the building blocks of lubricant oils, currently derived from a mixture of fractions from the crude oil refining process. Biofene is then finished chemically to create high-end base oils. Amyris, Inc.

2010 68

Grillo-Werke AG successfully converts methane directly into methanesulfonic acid (MSA)

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Grillo says that the Grillo-Methane-Sulfonation (GMS) process is highly cost-competitive. Development of commercial production of C 1 through to C 4 alkanesulfonic acids—including MSA—came out of work in the 1940s at Standard Oil of Indiana.

2016 78

Siluria and Wood launch Modus: process technology to convert low-value offgas into high-octane, low-sulfur gasoline blendstock

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Siluria Technologies, developer of a catalytic oxidative coupling of methane (OCM) process to convert natural gas into liquid fuels or petrochemical building blocks ( earlier post ), and Wood, a leader in the delivery of project, engineering and technical services to energy and industrial markets, announced the availability of the Modus process technology for petroleum refiners. The result is a simpler process, lower capital costs and more flexibility in term of scale.

2017 60

SDTC awards C$1.5M to support Molten Salt Catalyzed Gasification for hydrogen production; targeting reduced GHG footprint for oil sands synthetic crude

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will receive a $C1.5-million investment from Sustainable Development Technology Canada to support the development and commercialization of a new hydrogen manufacturing technology called Molten Salt Catalyzed Gasification (MSG), originally developed at the US Idaho National Laboratory (INL).

Researchers develop new non-catalytic process for converting lipids from sewage sludge to biodiesel; high yield and economic production

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They also demonstrated that the production of biodiesel using the lipids extracted from sewage sludge (SS) could be economically feasible because of its remarkably high yield of oil and low cost, as compared to conventional biodiesel feedstocks. 75% of the total production costs.

2012 120

US DOI finalizes plan for oil shale and oil sands research, demonstration and development

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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar last week announced the Department of the Interior’s final plan for encouraging research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of oil shale and oil sands resources on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. In November 2012, the BLM signed two additional leases for RD&D oil shale proposals to encourage industry to develop and test technologies aimed at developing oil shale resources on a commercial scale.

Siluria Technologies announces successful start-up of first demo plant directly converting natural gas to ethylene through OCM

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The demonstration plant is the final scale-up of the OCM process technology and paves the way for Siluria to deploy commercial-scale plants in the 2017/2018 timeframe. Siluria’s OCM technology is the first commercially viable process to directly convert natural gas to ethylene, a key building block for the global petrochemicals industry and a new basis from which to produce transportation fuels.

2015 76

Tailings Technology Roadmap project releases nine development roadmaps for treatment of oil sands fine tailings

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An example of the evaluation “diamonds” for one technology in each of the research, development and commercial stages. The report provides nine different Tailings Technology Deployment (TDD) Roadmaps to accelerate the implementation of oil sands tailings solutions in Alberta.

United Airlines begins commercial-scale use of renewable jet fuel; 15M gallons over 3-year period

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United Airlines has become the first US airline to begin use of commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights, beginning with the departure of United Flight 708 from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

2016 78

Production of biosynthetic lubricant oil begins at demo plant

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California-based Biosynthetic Technologies, in partnership with Albemarle, announced that operations of a demonstration production plant for biosynthetic lubricant oil within Albemarle’s existing Baton Rouge facility have commenced. Biosynthetic Technologies holds exclusive rights to patented technology that converts fatty acids into high-performance synthetic oils that can be used in lubricant, personal care and other chemical sectors.

2013 77

Start-up commercializing NC State technology for drop-in biofuels; full commercial production targeted for 2016

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Red Wolf, formed in 2010, is in the process of raising $3 million through an equity offering to commercialize the thermal-chemical catalytic process. This is accomplished by separately pumping steam and the feedstock oil at high temperature and pressures into a Colgate-Emery reactor.

2011 93

Lux Research: cost of electrofuels remains far from viable

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Production costs per barrel of oil equivalent. The cost of electrofuels—fuels produced by catalyst-based systems for light capture, water electrolysis, and catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide and hydrogen to liquid fuels—remains far away from viable, according to a new analysis by Lux Research. Source: Lux Research. Click to enlarge.

2014 74

UC Riverside CELF biomass pretreatment technology could cut cellulosic biofuel production cost by about 30%

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This development could mean reducing enzyme costs from about $1 per gallon of ethanol to about 10 cents or less, with an overall reduction in the cost of the production of cellulosic biofuels of 30% or more. For example, lignocellulosic biomass costing about $60?a

2015 93

Berkeley Lab working with Alphabet Energy to develop a low-cost thermoelectric system

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With a $2-million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC), Berkeley Lab is partnering with Alphabet Energy to create a cost-effective thermoelectric waste heat recovery system to reduce both energy use in the industrial sector and electricity-related carbon emissions. However, most current thermoelectric materials are limited by several factors, including high cost, low efficiency, and the inability to operate reliably at temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius.

2017 60

Tesoro to purchase algae-derived green crude oil from Sapphire Energy

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Sapphire Energy has entered into a commercial agreement with Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Tesoro Corporation. Under the agreement, Tesoro will purchase crude oil from Sapphire Energy’s Green Crude Farm in Columbus, New Mexico, which recently reached a new milestone: continuous cultivation and crude oil production. This begins the first step of a commercial relationship to process Green Crude oil from Sapphire’s future commercial facilities.

2013 76

Boeing, South African Airways and Mango celebrate Africa’s 1st commercial flights with sustainable aviation biofuel from tobacco

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Boeing, South African Airways (SAA) and low-cost carrier Mango celebrated Africa’s first passenger flights with sustainable aviation biofuel. The seeds contain 33% oil and 67% press cake (fit for animal feed), on top of that the harvest yields significant amounts of green biomass.

2016 78

California Energy Commission to award up to $3M to support development of bio-oil as intermediate for renewable jet fuel

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The California Energy Commission is issuing a solicitation ( GFO-17-901 ) to provide up to $3 million in funding for innovative, pre-commercial low-carbon fuel production processes that result in the development of bio-oil as an intermediate fuel with wide-scale adoption potential used for renewable jet fuel production. For the purpose of the solicitation, bio-oil is defined as a synthetic or organic equivalent to crude oil such as bio-crude.

2017 60

Algae biodiesel company AFS BioOil tracking to produce biodiesel at $2/gallon at commercial scale

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AFS BioOil announced that initial tests conducted by the company since startup of the system confirm that production costs of biodiesel will be in the range of $2 per gallon when produced in a commercial system of 1 millon gallons/yr and greater. AFS BioOil has recently partnered with a renewable electricity company that has the technology to convert waste heat into electricity at a cost of 6 cents/kWh and potential of reducing the cost to 4 cents/kWh in the future.

2012 81

Coskata Unveils Semi-Commercial Feedstock-Flexible Ethanol Facility; Springboard for Full-Scale Commercial Rollout

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Coskata’s semi-commercial facility in Madison, Pa. a syngas to ethanol company, officially launched its semi-commercial “Flexethanol” facility located in Madison, PA. Actual production cost will vary, either below or above $1.00 Commercial-scale plans.

2009 78

Boeing, COMAC open facility to transform gutter oil into aviation biofuel

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Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (COMAC) opened a demonstration facility that will turn waste cooking oil, commonly referred to as “gutter oil” in China, into sustainable aviation biofuel. billion liters) of biofuel could be made annually in China from used cooking oil. HEET) to clean contaminants from waste oils and convert it into jet fuel at a rate of 160 gallons (650 liters) per day.

2014 82

First Pearl GTL product shipment reaches US: synthetic base oil

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Shell Lubricants announced the arrival of its first shipment of gas-to-liquid (GTL) base oil at the Port of Houston. Shell Lubricants will use Pearl GTL base oil, a Group III base oil, in the manufacture of its premium motor oils. Group III base oils are the foundation for formulating next-generation oils that address needs for improved energy efficiency, longer equipment life and reduced maintenance costs.

Qatar 71

Liquid Light unveils cost-advantaged catalytic process to make chemicals from CO2

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Liquid Light unveiled its new process for the production of major chemicals from carbon dioxide, showcasing its demonstration-scale “reaction cell” and confirming the potential for cost-advantaged process economics. Liquid Light’s core technology is centered on low-energy catalytic electrochemistry to convert CO 2 to chemicals, combined with hydrogenation and purification operations.

2014 79

Abengoa Solar Begins Commercial Operation of Second 50MW Parabolic Trough Plant

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Abengoa Solar began commercial operation of Solnova 3, a new parabolic trough technology plant located at the Solúcar Complex, Seville (Spain), following the successful completion of the operation and production testing conducted over the course of three days.

2010 99

PNNL team develops continuous flow process for rapid production of green crude from algae; licensed for commercialization

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Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have created a continuous-flow process that produces useful crude oil less than one hour after receiving harvested algae. HTL converts wet algae slurries into an upgradeable biocrude. In the team’s experiments, generally more than 50% of the algae’s carbon is converted to energy in crude oil—sometimes as much as 70%. Cost is the big roadblock for algae-based fuel.

2013 82

DOE to award $3M to lower cost of geothermal energy and boost US supply of rare earth elements

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DOE is seeking to promote the advancement of thermal energy conversion processes capable of converting geothermal heat sources into power, in conjunction with the development or exploitation of technologies capable of capturing, concentrating, and/or purifying valuable materials contained within geothermal brines to economically extract resources that can provide additional revenue streams to geothermal operators.

2014 87

NREL researchers report on two approaches to upgrading biomass pyrolysis oil for hydrocarbon fuels

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At last month’s World Renewable Energy Forum 2012 in Denver, Colorado, researchers from the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory presented papers on two different approaches to upgrade pyrolysis oils to hydrocarbon fuels or fuel intermediates. Fast pyrolysis can convert about 70% of the mass and energy into the liquid product. However, bio-oil, or pyrolysis oil, comprises many oxygenated organic chemicals with water-miscible and oil-miscible fractions.

2012 84

HEET to conduct first Boeing-COMAC Technology Center aviation biofuel research project focused on waste cooking oil

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The technology center created by Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corp. HEET, a company with experience developing alternative energy technologies, will focus on ways to convert discarded cooking oil into a component of sustainable aviation biofuel at the Boeing-COMAC Aviation Energy Conservation and Emissions Reductions Technology Center. The Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd.

2012 76