Blue Sun, ARA partner to build biojet, renewable diesel plant

By Blue Sun Energy Inc. | January 18, 2013

Applied Research Associates Inc. and Blue Sun Energy Inc. announced a partnership for the design, construction and operation of a Biofuels Isoconversion process demonstration system using the ARA and Chevron Lummus Global process for the production of certification quantities of 100 percent drop-in renewable jet, diesel and gasoline.

“The scale-up of the Biofuels Isoconversion process with our partners at Blue Sun will allow us to take a significant step toward commercial-scale production of 100 percent drop-in fuels at prices competitive with petroleum in the 2015 timeframe,” said Chuck Red, ARA’s biofuels program manager. “The hundred barrels-per-day demonstration system will be capable of producing large fuel samples, a key enabler for ASTM certification of our fuels.”

“This partnership aligns perfectly with Department of Defense goals for production of alternative fuels,” said Leigh Freeman, CEO of Blue Sun. “The skill sets and experience of Blue Sun and ARA cover all aspects required to deliver renewable jet and diesel at DoD cost targets, on DoD timelines.”

The Secretary of the Navy has set energy goals focused on achieving 50 percent of energy consumption from alternative sources by 2015 for nontactical uses and by 2020 for Navy-wide uses.

ARA, CLG, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Agrisoma Biosciences and National Research Council Canada conducted the first civilian jet flight operated on 100 percent biofuels this past October using “ReadiJet” produced from Agrisoma’s Resonance feedstock and ARA and CLG’s Biofuels Isoconversion process. It did not go unnoticed. Popular Science named the 100 percent biofuels flight as one of the top 25 science events of 2012.

In parallel with the establishment of the partnership between ARA and Blue Sun, Blue Sun signed a global license agreement with Chevron Lummus Global for use of the Biofuels Isoconversion process to produce fuels that meet the necessary ASTM requirements for 100 percent replacement, renewable jet fuel and diesel in Blue Sun biorefineries and joint ventures throughout the world.

The core focus for ARA, research and development, dovetails with Blue Sun’s focus on commercialization.

The demonstration facility is scheduled for ground breaking in St. Joseph, Mo., in Q1 2013 and will be operational in Q3 2013. CLG and ARA’s Biofuels Isoconversion process produces fuels which are ready to use, without blending, in turbine and diesel engines designed to operate on petroleum-based fuels. The low-cost process converts any nonedible fats and oils directly into high-density aromatic, cycloparaffin and isoparaffin hydrocarbons that are ideal for drop-in jet (JP-5, JP-8 and Jet A) and diesel (ASTM D 975 and F-76 Naval Distillate) fuels.

Blue Sun also operates a biodiesel facility at the St. Joseph, Mo., site, and has completed capital investments and the final steps to commercialize a new enzymatic processing technology allowing Blue Sun to produce high-quality fuel from any feedstock at the lowest production costs in the U.S.


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