Company Claims Biofuel "Breakthrough"

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A San Francisco-based company said last week it has developed a new way to make jet biofuel from renewable materials that is "highly cost-effective." AliphaJet said its catalytic method uses materials derived from plants and animals such as triglycerides and fatty acids. "Our strategy fundamentally improves the economics of making 100-percent drop-in renewable jet biofuel," said Jack Oswald, CEO of AliphaJet. "Our approach is radically different and unlocks a new industry that can meet the U.S. Navy's goal of replacing 50 percent of its liquid fuels with renewables by 2020."

AliphaJet said its catalytic de-oxygenation process "significantly reduces capital and operating costs" because it does not require the use of hydrogen in processing. That means the processing plant can be less complex, reducing capital costs. It also saves money because the biofuel can be produced close to the site of the raw materials, without the need to be close to a hydrogen source. The company says its process can also produce renewable drop-in diesel fuel, gasoline and other hydrocarbon molecules usually derived from fossil fuel oil. A variety of raw materials can be used, including algae, certain seeds and vegetables such as camelina and soy, and animal fats. AliphaJet is a collaborative venture between SynGest and Unitel Technologies.