Castor oil tested as bio jet fuel feedstock

By | June 15, 2010
Posted July 7, 2010

Evogene Ltd. announced July 7 that bio synthetic paraffinic kerosene (bio jet fuel) produced from the company's castor varieties meets the key international standards for alternative aviation fuels. The analysis was conducted by Evogene Inc., a fully owned U.S. subsidiary of Evogene Ltd., in collaboration with NASA, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and Honeywell's UOP.

In April 2009, Evogene entered into a feasibility agreement with NASA, to evaluate the potential use of castor oil as a viable and sustainable feedstock for production of bio jet fuel. Under this agreement, biojet fuel produced from Evogene castor oil through UOP's technology is expected to undergo additional advanced testing by NASA and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

The results being announced today demonstrate that such biojet fuel meets the major ASTM D7566 fuel specifications requirements for alternative aviation fuels containing synthesized hydrocarbons.

The D7566 fuel specification is written for fuels produced using the Fischer-Tropsch process; however, specifications for alternative aviation fuels containing bio-SPK are expected to be approved for commercial airline use before the end of 2010 or early next year.

"A diverse range of feedstocks is critical to creating a sustainable biofuels infrastructure," said Jim Rekoske, general manager of Renewable Energy & Chemicals at Honeywell's UOP. "Castor oil has proven to be a viable second-generation source, and we believe it has the potential to be an important contributor to the production of aviation biofuels."

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