Algae Aviation Fuel

Algae Aviation Fuel

Postby guru » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:52 pm

Continental Airlines Inc. conducted a demonstration flight today using biofuel from Jatropha and Algae.The flight operated with a biofuel blend of 50 percent biologically derived fuel and 50 percent traditional jet fuel in one of the engines. The other engine ran on traditional jet fuel, allowing Continental to compare how the fuels perform.It seems they have observed a slight difference in some of the readings indicating the energy from biofuel blend is higher that jet fuel. Any similar observations on Solazyme's First Heavy-Duty Vehicle Powered by 100% Algal Derived Biofuel?
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Re: Algae Aviation Fuel

Postby cacofonix » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:48 pm

That's heartening to hear - an actual demo of biofuel from algae....

I'm however not sure they'd have got more energy from biofuels than from their aviation fuel. Diesel fuel has an energy density of 1058 kBtu/cu.ft. and biodiesel has an energy density of 950 kBtu/cu.ft, so in all probability energy from the biodiesel blend should have been lower.

The other question I have is, you say they used biofuels from jatropha and algae, both of which are primarily used for biodiesel (though it is not necessary that they should be used only for these...). Do you have any idea what was the actual fuel that was derived from jatropha and algae? Jet engines use JP8 fuel / aviation kerosene, so the fuel from these two biomass must have been something close to either of these, right?
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Re: Algae Aviation Fuel

Postby guru » Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:22 pm

A NREl report on Jet fuel from algae says that they are using a technology called hydroprocessing technology to make kerosene like fuels from algae oil. So it is something close to kerosene.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy06osti/40352.pdf
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Re: Algae Aviation Fuel

Postby cacofonix » Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:44 pm

guru wrote:A NREl report on Jet fuel from algae says that they are using a technology called hydroprocessing technology to make kerosene like fuels from algae oil. So it is something close to kerosene.
http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy06osti/40352.pdf


That's a good one Guru. To quote from the document you have so kindly enclosed earlier, "But with various hydroprocessing technologies used by refineries to catalytically remove impurities or reduce molecular weight, the algal oils could be made into a kerosene-like fuel very similar to petroleum-derived commercial and military jet fuels or into a fuel designed for multi-purpose military use."

And here's how the hydroprocessing (which actually stands for hydrogen-processing) works:
"Here is how the process works:
1. Feedstock is separated into distillates and vacuum gas oils.
2. Waxy vacuum gas oil molecules flow to the hydrocracker to begin conversion.
3. Hydrogen is introduced to saturate the molecules and remove impurities such as nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen and heavy metals.
4. Hydrocracking, under conditions of extreme temperature and pressure in the presence of a catalyst, converts aromatic molecules into saturated paraffins.
5. The altered stock is noticeably lighter in color due to the absence of contaminants.
6. Long waxy paraffin molecules are restructured into shorter, branched isoparaffins which resist gelling and improve low temperature pumpability.
7. Hydrogen is introduced again to remove any remaining aromatics and impurities, enhancing the oxidation and thermal stability of the now colorless oil.
"
Source: The Horse's Mouth...Oops ConocoPhillips

I wonder how costly this whole process is...you are using many costly stuff here - multiple processing, hydrogen...the costing sheet is not going to look very pretty
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Re: Algae Aviation Fuel

Postby guru » Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:49 am

Hi,
One more company to demontrate biofuel test flight - JetBlue Airways, following demonstrations by Air New Zealand (ANZ), Continental Airlines and Japan Airlines (JAL).

Their feedstock include jatropha, algae, waste forest residues, organic waste streams and the non-edible component of corn plants and corn stover.

Anybody know when exactly they will conduct their tests?

Refer:http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/02/10/322355/jetblue-readies-for-alternative-fuel-trial.html
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