Posts Tagged ‘Feedstock’
Algae Aviation Fuel from CCA is Proud to Announce Initial Sale of Powdered Algae Jet Fuel to the United States Air Force Research Laboratory. An undisclosed amount of powdered algae fuel will be evaluated as a solid fuel propellant for rocket use.
Compact Contractors for America (CCA), a Southern Utah-based company has developed a dry process biofuel from algae, camelina seed, and other non-fossil fuel sources. Dry process biofuels are essentially powders that can be fluidized and combusted in jet turbine engines. Dry process fuels have been around for a long time, at least since the first pulverized coal power plants. Running engines on burnable powders as opposed to liquid fuel is nothing new. What CCA has done is identify the most effective feedstock’s, process methodology and fuel delivery processes to make dry process biofuels scalable to military operations. Commercial application requires further research and testing.
Robert Fulton, the 19th century engineer of steamboat fame, didn’t invent the technology. He just improved it to make steamboats faster and commercially viable. Some day soon, distant descendent Robert Fulton III of Cedar City, UT hopes to make the same claim for making alternative fuels more effective and profitable.
Fulton works for Compact Contractors for America (CCA), a Southern Utah-based company that is developing dry process biofuels from algae, camelina seed, and other non-fossil fuel sources. Dry process biofuels are essentially powders that can be injected and combusted in jet turbines and other engines. April 29th, CCA will exhibit and demonstrate the fuel at the Milford Renewable Energy Fair hosted by the Southwest Utah Renewable Energy Center.
“Dry process fuels have been around for a long time, at least since the first pulverized coal power plants,” Fulton said. “Running engines on burnable powders as opposed to liquid fuel is nothing new. What we’re trying to do is to identify the most effective feedstocks, rendering and fuel-injection processes to make dry process biofuels scalable to commercial and military operations.”
The advantage dry process biofuels may have over liquid biofuels is a more streamlined and potentially less expensive preparation process, Fulton said. Dewatering the feedstock takes less energy, and no catalytic “cracking” is needed to create a liquid fuel. According to Fulton, CCA is focused initially on the aviation market, and in particular on providing dry process fuels for unmanned military vehicles.
“The military is very open to finding new alternative sources of fuel that promote our country’s energy independence,” Fulton said. “We’re trying to capitalize on that interest.”
USTAR recently funded a $39,000 Technology Commercialization Grant at Southern Utah University (SUU) to assist CCA in testing different algae strains and camelina feedstock. Initial tests have been promising, according the SUU chemistry professor Renwu Zhang. In general, the processed strains provided ample combustion heat with only minor residue.
Out-of-state experts have also tested CCA’s processed strains. Pennsylvania State University Applied Research Lab faculty member Thomas Cawley recently tested samples for injection system delivery. The CCA material showed promise for high-pressure combustion use and appeared to have little moisture sensitivity, meaning the end product is less likely to clump or jam in commercial use.
In a related effort, Montana State University has provided camelina meal samples to Southern Utah University for testing on CCA’s behalf. Combustion testing results yielded great potential for a camelina-based dry fuel.
The most recent milestone CCA has achieved is the signing April 24th of a research agreement with SOLIX Biofuels, Inc. of Colorado. SOLIX will provide algae samples for larger-scale, production tests. “SOLIX is well known nationally,” Fulton said. “Working with such an established commercial player is pretty exciting for us.”
From connections to university experts to market assessment and branding, Fulton speaks well of his interaction with USTAR. “The grant funding has been critical in allowing us to move forward, and having state support for SUU’s testing project has positioned us well with outside companies such as SOLIX.”
“USTAR has also provided some invaluable feedback on our business plan, and has helped us target the military aviation market. That advice alone has helped focus our efforts more effectively,” he said.
CCA’s exhibit at the Milford Renewable Energy Fair will be at Milford High School from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Thursday, April 29th. For more information on the fair, visit www.swatc.edu/renewableenergyfair.shtml. For more information on CCA, contact email@example.com or visit his site at http://algaeaviationfuel.com/. Originally Published by USTAR 4/29/2010 http://newmedia.innovationutah.com/2010/04/29/powdered-algae-biofuel-on-display-at-milford-renewable-energy-fair/
Have you ever gone fishing only to discover that your favorite fishing hole was over grown with algae? Well now that same green algae can power jet turbine engine or diesel engine trucks. That’s right the algae grown in ponds can be converted to oil and the oil refined into Biofuels for jet aircraft and automobiles.
Algae have the potential to evolve into a mainstream fuel feedstock. Algae are not a food crops, they grow fast and algae remove massive amounts of carbon dioxide from the air.
Algae are not a food crops and there has been a huge debate and more focus on the food vs. fuel question. Some critics say agricultural based crops are not sustainable as a fuel source. Corn and Soybeans are being used currently as Biofuel which some say are the blame for higher food prices. For example; some waste collections companies have seen the cost of WVO (Waste vegetable oil) or yellow grease increase to an all time high worth as much as $3.50 cents per gallon. Hey!! Correct me if my math is a little off, but isn’t that almost the same price as a gallon of diesel fuel? Algae farms can produce 100 times more oil per acre than traditional oil crops (such as soy oil), which can be converted to Biodiesel.
Algae grow fast. Algae can be grown especially well in desert states that have plenty of sunshine and access to water unusable for drinking. Because of the high salt content in algae, saltwater can be used more economically than fresh water for optimal growth. Meaning our sunny southern states with saline aquifers will make fast and efficient locations to grow algae on commercial farms.
Algae remove massive amounts of CO2 (Carbon dioxide) from the air. Algae farms are glutton eaters of CO2 gas providing a means for recycling waste carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion. It is possible to sequester as much as one billion tons of CO2 per year from algae farms. The United States has one energy plant that produces 25.3 millions tons of CO2 by itself. This new technology has attracted companies that need inexpensive CO2 sequestration solutions. Algae was responsible for creating the Earth’s oxygen atmosphere three billion years ago and it took around two billion years to form the modern atmosphere with 20 percent oxygen. Without algae we would not be here.
Algae Biofuel will play a very important part in meeting the worlds growing energy need, Algae has a place in not only our past, but in our future as well.