The University of North Dakota has been issued Australian patent number Au 2007347872 B2, titled "Method for cold stable biojet fuel" for biofuels technology.
The UND technology is based on the noncatalytic cracking of fatty acid-based oils such as crop oils, algae oil, waste cooking oil and waste animal fats followed by purification and deoxygenation reactions.
Products include 100 percent compatible military (JP-8, JP-5) and commercial jet fuel (Jet A), a diesel fuel meeting American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) diesel number 1 specifications, military F-76 diesel fuel and by-product renewable chemicals.
The inventors of this technology are Wayne Seames, Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and director of the North Dakota SUNRISE BioProducts Center of Excellence, and Ted Aulich, Senior Research Manager at the UND Energy and Environmental Research Center.
"This patent is one of a series of issued and pending patents UND has submitted both within the U.S. and around the world to convert fatty acid-based oils into replacements for transportation fuels and chemicals currently derived from petroleum," states Michael Moore, UND's Associate Vice President for Intellectual Property Commercialization & Economic Development.
Other patent applications cover the production of short chain fatty acid-based chemicals, aromatic-based chemicals and high purity carbon.
"The University is actively seeking to license this suite of technologies for rapid and widespread commercialization. We project that these technologies will be used around the world to provide cost effective, renewable alternatives to fossil-derived products," Moore added.
"SUNRISE has been developing versions of these technologies that are suitable for commercialization on behalf of the University. We have completed all laboratory and bench-scale activities and are ready to take the technology to the pilot and demonstration scales," stated Seames, who is the lead researcher on the project. "Noncatalytic cracking allows more of the inlet fatty acid oil to be recovered and converted into useable products compared to many competitor technologies because the initial reactor does not contain a catalyst.
"Most fatty acid oil conversion processes need a catalyst in the initial reaction step to begin the oil transformation process. It is difficult to perform these reactions without forming tarry coke substances. When a catalyst is used, the tars are lost because they must be removed by oxidation to carbon dioxide. Since our process doesn't use a catalyst, the tars can be recovered and processed into additional product."