Catilin announces new algae project

By | December 21, 2009
Posted January 15, 2010

Biodiesel catalyst technology company Catilin Inc. announced a new three-year, $5.3 million project as part of the $44 million U.S. DOE Investment for Advanced Biofuels Research and Fueling Infrastructure award made to Catilin's consortium, National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts. Catilin and its partner, Iowa State University-Center for Catalysis, will provide key extraction, sequestration and conversion technologies. The NAABB consortium is made up of 26 groups from both the private and public sector and is led by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

Catilin and ISU-CCAT will build on their pioneering algal oil extraction technology using mesoporous nanoparticles to selectively extract and sequester targeted fuel-relevant and high-value compounds within the algal lipid mixture. The balance of the algal oil, which contains free fatty acids (FFA) and triglycerides, will be converted to biodiesel using Catilin's commercially available T300 catalyst. The pilot-scale work will be completed at Catilin's currently operating 300,000 gallon per year pilot plant.

"This award solidifies Catilin's position as a leading provider of extraction and catalyst technology for biomass conversion," said Catilin CEO Larry Lenhart. "We are enthusiastic participants in the NAABB consortium and believe that this unique consortium will bring cross discipline knowledge working together to advance the reality of biofuel from algae. As the largest private sector participant, we will make a direct impact on the ability to demonstrate the scalable and economic conversion of algal oil to biofuels while capturing and monetizing valuable co-products."

Catilin has been closely aligned with ISU-CCAT since 2007 when Professor Victor Lin of Iowa State University founded Catilin with financial support from Mohr Davidow Ventures of Menlo Park, Calif. "Our technology is instrumental in several key steps of the algae to biofuels supply chain as the efficient oil-extraction and solid catalyst provides a cost effective conversion route," said Prof. Lin, who is also the director of ISU-CCAT and the director of the Chemical and Biological Sciences Program at DOE Ames Laboratory.

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