San Francisco-based AliphaJet develops, demonstrates catalytic method for making jet biofuel from renewable sources such as plant, animal triglycerides, fatty acids
September 14, 2011
– Breakthrough Commercially-Scalable Process Produces Jet Fuels at Costs Competitive to Fossil Fuels
AliphaJet, Inc. announced that the company has developed and successfully demonstrated a highly cost-effective catalytic method for making jet biofuel from renewable products such as plant and animal triglycerides and/or fatty acids.
“More than 30,000 jet powered aircraft operated by 2,000 airlines around the world are adding to the carbon footprint at an unprecedented level. Visionaries like Sir Richard Branson have recognized that the only solution to this environmental dilemma is to gradually switch from fossil derived products to biofuels”
AliphaJet’s BoxCar™ catalytic de-oxygenation process significantly reduces capital and operating costs because it does not require hydrogen to remove the oxygen from the feedstocks. This key technology shift unlocks several areas of capital and processing cost savings compared to competing technologies:
(a) Processing facilities are less complex, thereby reducing capital costs,
(b) Zero variable costs for expensive production of hydrogen,
(c) AliphaJet facilities can be located where the renewable inputs are produced, versus the logistics and transportation costs of dealing with a fossil fuel based refinery.
The net effect is that AliphaJet’s process offers significant CAPEX and OPEX advantages over current practices that all require significant quantities of hydrogen.
“Our strategy fundamentally improves the economics of making 100% drop-in renewable jet biofuel,” said Jack Oswald, CEO of AliphaJet. “The breakthrough AliphaJet BoxCar™ catalytic de-oxygenation process removes 100% of the oxygen without the need for aggressive and expensive hydrotreating. Our approach is radically different and unlocks a new industry that can meet the U.S. Navy’s goal of replacing 50% of its liquid fuels with renewables by 2020.”
AliphaJet has successfully produced renewable jet biofuel using both plant-based oils and animal fats such as beef tallow. Samples were tested at Southwest Research Institute and met or exceeded D-1655 requirements including net heat of combustion, freezing point, smoke point and sulfur levels.
The AliphaJet process can also produce renewable drop-in diesel fuel, gasoline and other hydrocarbon molecules usually derived from fossil fuel oil.
Renewable oil feedstocks can be sourced from plants, animal processing or emerging oil production sources such as algae and genetically modified organisms: seeds/vegetables (camelina, pennycress, palm, soy, corn), animal fats (beef, chicken), algae (Sapphire, Solazyme), GMO (Amyris, LS9, Genomatica).
“Renewable jet fuel represents one of the best yet elusive opportunities in the advanced biofuels space,” said Michael McAdams, President of the Advanced Biofuels Association (www.advancedbiofuelsassociation.com). “AliphaJet is one of the leading companies working in this space with a smart innovative management team that is focused on the target!”
“More than 30,000 jet powered aircraft operated by 2,000 airlines around the world are adding to the carbon footprint at an unprecedented level. Visionaries like Sir Richard Branson have recognized that the only solution to this environmental dilemma is to gradually switch from fossil derived products to biofuels,” notes Oswald.
About AliphaJet Inc.
AliphaJet is a collaborative venture between SynGest Inc. and Unitel Technologies, Inc. The development of the AliphaJet process was led by Dr. Ravi Randhava in collaboration with Dr. Paul Ratnasamy at the University of Louisville.