Blue Sun Energy, ARA Inc. and Chevron Lummus Global Partner in Successful Biofuels ISOCONVERSION Demonstration

Blue Sun Energy, ARA Inc., and Chevron Lummus Global achieved a key development milestone with their Biofuels ISOCONVERSION facility. The facility processes renewable feedstocks such as plant oils, tallow, and waste vegetable oil into 100% drop-in diesel and jet fuels.

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Blue Sun Energy, ARA Inc. and Chevron Lummus Global logos

Blue Sun Energy, ARA Inc. and Chevron Lummus Global achieved a key development milestone with their Biofuels ISOCONVERSION facility

“We are a step closer to our goal of commercial scale production of 100% drop-in diesel and jet fuel from industrial and waste oils at prices competitive with their petroleum counterparts,” said Chuck Red, Vice President of Fuels Development at ARA

Golden, CO (PRWEB) March 26, 2014

This week, Blue Sun Energy, ARA Inc. and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) achieved a key development milestone with their 100 barrel/per day (4,200 gallon/per day) demonstration-scale Biofuels ISOCONVERSION (BIC) facility in St. Joseph, Missouri. Less than a year after beginning engineering to scale the technology, the team has completed plant commissioning and has begun 24/7 system operation.

“This is a key milestone toward commercial scale production, with initial results showing comparable system performance in the scale-up from our 4 barrel/day pilot system in Panama City, Florida to the 100 BBL/day demonstration system in St. Joseph,” said Rob Sues, CEO of ARA.

“We are a step closer to our goal of commercial scale production of 100% drop-in diesel and jet fuel from industrial and waste oils at prices competitive with their petroleum counterparts,” said Chuck Red, Vice President of Fuels Development at ARA.

The BIC process seamlessly processes renewable feedstocks such as plant oils, tallow, and waste vegetable oil into 100% drop-in diesel and jet fuels, which meet petroleum specs without blending, as well as naphtha that can be used as a gasoline blend stock.

"Operation of the demonstration system is critical in terms of scaling the process and technology and garnering the insights and experience needed to begin construction on our first commercial facility, which will truly be a landmark for the emerging next-generation biofuels industry," said Leigh Freeman, CEO of Blue Sun.

The team will continue to test the system with various feedstocks, including Resonance(TM), an industrial oil feedstock from Agrisoma Biosciences as well as fatty acid distillate, distillers grain corn oil, and tallow to ensure reliable and cost effective operation. The demonstration system will be operated in campaigns to produce tens of thousands of gallons of jet fuel and diesel for certification testing, endurance testing, and test flights through the end of this year.

"We are enthusiastic about the early success that Blue Sun, CLG, and ARA have achieved at the demonstration facility in St. Joseph. Production of completely fungible jet and diesel fuels from renewable industrial oils and waste oils is a game changer," said Leon DeBruyn, Managing Director of CLG.

The BIC Process consists of:

  • ARA’s Catalytic Hydrothermolysis (CH) process, which mimics nature’s way of converting biomass to petroleum crude. While nature’s processes take millennia to produce petroleum crude, it takes less than a minute for the CH process to turn plant oils into a high quality crude oil intermediate. A U.S. patent was granted to ARA in 2010 on the CH process.
  • CLG’s ISOCONVERSION™ Catalysts efficiently upgrade the crude oil intermediate produced by the CH reactor into on-specification, finished fuels. The final products are all fungible and nearly identical to petroleum-derived fuels. ReadiJet™ and ReadiDiesel™ can be tailored to meet all commercial and military jet fuel specifications.

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Media Contacts:
Blue Sun, Steve Bond, stevebond(at)gobluesun(dot)com, 303-865-7700
ARA, Chuck Red, cred(at)ara(dot)com, 850-914-3188
CLG, David Wadsworth, DMWAD(at)chevron(dot)com, 973-893-3840

About Blue Sun
Blue Sun has been a leader in the alternative fuels industry since 2001. Blue Sun is a technology commercialization company specializing in commercializing research breakthroughs in the field of transportation fuels. The current focus of Blue Sun is in the commercialization of advanced technologies to build near and long-term competitive advantage, with a target of producing low-cost, and consistently high-quality fuel from non-food feed stocks. Blue Sun’s ultimate goal is to reduce production costs to allow commercial production without government support. Current projects in this area include renewable diesel technology development, military bio-jet fuels, biodiesel technology upgrades at the Blue Sun St. Joe Refinery, and the acquisition of first generation biodiesel facilities to upgrade using advanced Blue Sun technology.

About ARA
ARA’s alternative fuel effort began in 2006 in response to a U.S. military requirement for technologies that can convert renewable oils to jet fuel. To answer this challenge, ARA engineers conceived an idea of using high temperature water to create biocrude. A U.S. patent on the CH technology was granted to ARA in 2010. ARA’s ReadiJet and ReadiDiesel fuels meet all petroleum specifications without blending. For more information about their fuel initiative, visit: http://www.ara.com/fuels/.

About Chevron Lummus Global
CLG licenses refining hydroprocessing technologies and catalyst systems worldwide, and is a 50-50 joint venture between Chevron Products Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, and Lummus Technology, a CB&I business sector. CLG's research and development staff is continuously seeking advancements in catalyst and technology that will improve operating economics. CLG is the leading Process Technology Licensor for Alternate Sources of Fuels including: Oil Sands Bitumen, Shale Oil, Biofuels, Extra Heavy Oils.


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