Based in: Illinois
Honeywell’s UOP has developed a renewable jet fuel processing technology, as well as a joint venture. UOP and Ensyn announced the formation of a new joint venture, dubbed Envergent Technologies, that will market technologies and equipment for generating power, transportation fuel and heating oil from biomass using pyrolysis. The joint venture will utilize forest and agriculture residues as feedstocks in a Rapid Thermal process, where feedstocks are heated in the absence of oxygen, to produce pyrolysis oils that can be utilized directly in heating oil or power gen. UOP also owns a Renewable Energy & Chemicals business that produced green diesel using its Ecofining process. UOP and Vaperma announced a partnership to bring Vaperma’s polymer membrane technology to the ethanol industry, where it will reduce energy consumption and emissions for for first-generation ethanol, as well as cellulosic ethanol and butanol.
Model: Licensor; often develops technologies in partnerships.
Owned by: Honeywell (NYSE:HON)
In 2006-09, Virgin Atlantic, Continental, Japan Air Lines and Air New Zealand and the group as a whole conducted a series of laboratory, ground and flight tests, indicating that test fuels performed as well as or better than typical petroleum-based Jet A. The tests revealed that using the Bio-SPK fuel blends had no adverse effects on the engines or their components. They also showed that the fuels have an average 1.8 percent greater energy content by mass than typical petroleum-derived jet fuel.
In 2009, at the Paris Air Show Boeing and a series of partners involved in four biofuels-based test flights released the data from the tests, and said that with the release they are on a path towards flight certification of biofuels as soon as late 2010.
UOP expects to commence licensing its fuel technology in 2009, and said that it has already commenced advanced discussions with multiple potential licensees.
The consistent message from airlines and aircraft manufacturers is that the certification of biofuels for regular commercial flights is in the 2012/13 timeline. Boeing spokesman Terrance Scott said that biofuels could be a regular source for jet fuel with 3-5 years, with algae becoming a common component in 8-10 years.
Metrics: UOP said that it was modeling future refineries for renewable jet fuel using a 60-150 Mgy scale, and said that while this was only a fraction of the typical 4.2 billion gallon per year scale of a typical oil refinery that the size was the most effective given the expected supply chain for renewable jet fuel feedstocks. UOP said that it expects the cost of refineries to be in the $150 million range.
Jim Lane is editor and publisher of Biofuels Digest where this article was originally published. Biofuels Digest is the most widely read Biofuels daily read by 14,000+ organizations. Subscribe here.