Waste Car­bon Con­verted To Jet Fuel

Chemical Industry Digest - - Renewables -


the first time, The Vir­gin At­lantic Air­lines’ us­ing a Boe­ing 747 brought in a new era for low­car­bon avi­a­tion as they con­verted car­bon rich gas to a jet fuel.

Lan­za­Tech, a Chicago-based com­pany, de­vel­oped a unique car­bon re­cy­cling tech­nol­ogy that op­er­ated sim­i­larly to tra­di­tional fer­men­ta­tion but in­stead of us­ing sug­ars and yeast to make al­co­hol, waste car­bon-rich gases, such as those found at in­dus­trial man­u­fac­tur­ing sites, were con­verted by bac­te­ria to fuels and chem­i­cals, such as ethanol which can be used for a range of low car­bon prod­ucts, in­clud­ing al­co­hol-to-jet syn­thetic paraf­finic kerosene (ATJ-SPK).

Lan­za­Tech used the cat­alytic ex­per­tise of Pa­cific North­west Na­tional Lab­o­ra­tory (PNNL), a U.S. Depart­ment of En­ergy Na­tional Lab­o­ra­tory, which de­vel­oped a unique cat­alytic process and pro­pri­etary cat­a­lyst to up­grade the ethanol to (ATJ-SPK). This cat­a­lyst can re­move oxy­gen from the ethanol in the form of wa­ter, and then com­bine the re­main­ing hy­dro­car­bon mol­e­cules to form chains large enough for jet fuel with­out form­ing aro­mat­ics that can lead to soot wwhen burned.

The ethanol was then con­ver­teed to 4000 gal­lons of ATJ-SPK at Lan­za­Tech’s Free­dom Pines fa­cil­ity in Ge­or­gia and met all the spec­i­fi­ca­tions re­quired for use in com­mer­cial avi­a­tion.

In April 2018, an in­ter­na­tion­aal stan­dards body ap­proved the ethanol-to-jet fuel path­way for avi­a­tion tur­bine fuel at up to a 50 per­cent blend ra­tio with stan­dard, pe­tro­leum-based jet fuel based on Lan­za­Tech’s Re­search Re­port.

With co-fund­ing from BETO, Lan­za­Tech is now pre­par­ing a de­sign and en­gi­neer­ing pack­age for an ATJ pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity im­ple­ment­ing the Lan­za­Tech-PNNL ethanol based ATJ-SPK path­way.

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