Case Study

Production of Unblended, “Drop-in” Renewable Jet Fuel

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Petroleum-based fuels can be subject to price instability and supply chain disruptions. In order to increase national security, the U.S. Air Force wanted a 100% non-petroleum jet fuel alternative to reduce dependence on petroleum sources. However, meeting the requirements of military aircraft is difficult with 100% bio-based fuels. Existing bio-based fuels are primarily used as part of a 50/50 blend with petroleum-based fuels.

The Solution

Battelle worked with Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) to refine their Biofuels IsoConversion Process, a new process for converting renewable oils from plants and algae into drop-in ready to use jet fuels. Starting with Catalytic Hydro thermolysis (CH) oil delivered by ARA, Battelle used a Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) catalyst to hydrogenate and hydro-deoxygenate the oil and then separate the jet and diesel fractions using the AAFRF. By passing the CH oil over a proprietary CLG sulfide-metal catalyst at elevated temperatures and pressures, the oil was converted into high-density hydrocarbons that are essentially identical to the hydrocarbons in petroleum-based jet fuels. Battelle was able to help ARA refine their production process and demonstrate that the resulting fuel met all Air Force requirements.
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The Outcome

ARA now uses the CH process to produce ReadiJet, a “renewable, aromatic, drop-in” jet fuel. More recently, ARA and Battelle built on this project to deliver additional biofuel samples for evaluation by the U.S. Navy.
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With over 90 years of research and development experience, Battelle supports all areas of industry with intellectual property licensing focused on bringing our cross-disciplinary expertise to meet our clients' most difficult challenges.

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