Engineering News

Great Plains, Accelergy To Produce Biojet Fuel
March 24, 2010

Camelina oil and domestic coal will soon be blended to create clean biojet fuel using coal-biomass-to-liquids technology (CBTL), thanks to an agreement between Accelergy Corporation and Great Plains - The Camelina Company.

"This will be a great plus for Montana, and is another step on our way to energy independence," said Governor Brian Schweitzer.

Montana has the potential for hundreds of thousands of acres of Camelina and the State has a coal reserve of 120 billion tons. By blending Camelina oil and liquefied coal, Montana stands to gain on multiple fronts -- utilization of the coal reserves for high-value biojet fuel, local growth of Camelina for the combined CBTL process, and installation of oil seed crushing and advanced biofuel production facilities; all creating new jobs in the state.

"This teaming gives Great Plains the ability to significantly impact the jet fuel market with domestically sourced biojet fuel ... and do it today," said Sam Huttenbauer, CEO of Great Plains Oil & Exploration - The Camelina Company. "It will help fill the gap in low-cost biofuel availability from domestic sources as we expand the production of Camelina in North America."

The aviation industry is demonstrating its desire for biojet fuel with the certification of biofuels on regular commercial flights expected in 2012, the Air Force's target to use 50% domestic jet fuel by 2016, and the European Union's mandate that transportation fuels consist of 10 percent biofuel by 2020.

"To date, there has been limited construction of facilities capable of producing these synthetic fuels in commercial quantities," said Rocco Fiato, VP of Business Development and Planning at Accelergy. "The slow adoption and construction of these facilities is the result of the need for technological improvements in synthetic fuel production processes."

CBTL begins with transforming raw material into feedstock through a gasification process. The feedstock is then turned to fuel using a liquefaction process that requires thermal and catalytic reactions. Accelergy's CBTL process reportedly provides 20% lower CO2 emissions than conventional refining methods, resulting in cleaner burning fuel and more efficient engines.

Through this agreement, Accelergy will use Great Plains Camelina oil blended with its liquefied coal to create a fully synthetic jet fuel otherwise indistinguishable from standard petroleum fuel.

"Using Camelina will not only prove-out the technology on a commercial scale, but also provide meaningful quantities of the end-product biojet fuel for Air Force use," said Fiato.

The technology has been proven at laboratory and small scale pilot projects. This agreement helps fulfill the next required step of commercial demonstration and greatly accelerates the scale-up.

Great Plains Oil & Exploration (Great Plains - The Camelina Company) is a renewable fuels company which pioneered the manufacturing and marketing of fuel and chemicals from Camelina. Great Plains has exclusive access to the majority of the world's Camelina germplasm and is the established leader in the field of Camelina agronomy and production. Great Plains has developed a grower base and production facilities from which it produces and supplies commercial quantities of biofuel as well as high-protein, omega-3 rich animal feed.

Accelergy is a global leader in producing clean liquid fuels, promoting energy security though the utilization of domestic resources. Its proprietary micro-catalytic technology is designed to significantly increases the efficiency of the Coal-Biomass-to-Liquids process (CBTL) while significantly reducing greenhouse emissions and remaining cost-competitive with traditional petroleum-based fuels. Based in Houston, Texas, Accelergy has established an international presence through global partnerships.

Source: Great Plains Oil & Exploration

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