Posts Tagged ‘Liquid Fuel’
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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/