The US Navy's commercial scale biofuels programs
The new initiative demonstrates how quickly the biofuel industry could move away from farmlands and embrace a broader variety of non-food feedstocks that don’t compete with agriculture for growing space. These are not pilot projects, they are full commercial-scale operations.
In partnership with Agriculture and Energy, the Navy is investing in three new contracts for “drop-in” biofuels, though not quite at 100 percent drop-in, though. The performance of a 50-50 blend was verified in action during the 2012 RIMPAC exercises, and the Navy is apparently sticking with that for now.
The RIMPAC (that stands for Rim of the Pacific) exercise included biofuel for Navy aircraft as well as ships, btw.
We’re particularly interested in the Emerald Biofuels project, because when the Navy first announced that it would use biofuel from chicken fat and other waste fats that seemed pretty far-fetched, but apparently it’s going to happen.
Emerald’s contract will result in the construction of an 82 million gallon-per-year refinery using waste fat feedstock. It will be located on the Gulf Coast.
The other two projects are more modestly scaled. One, by Fulcrum BioEnergy, involves a 10 million gallon refinery in Nevada. The feedstock will be municipal solid waste.
The other one is a 12 million gallon-per-year operation by Red Rock Biofuels, which will use waste biomass from forestry operations. That one is located up in Oregon.
Hmmm…Gulf Coast…Nevada…Oregon…If you step back and take a meta-view, you can see how the Navy biofuel program is a win-win.
Of the grant to Red Rock Biofuels, oilbarrel had reported:
Shares in gas-to-liquids technology company Velocys plc nudged new highs on Monday as the AIM-quoted company revealed its customer Red Rock Biofuels has been awarded a US$70 million grant to build a biomass-to-liquids plant in Oregon. The plant, which will convert 170,000 tons per year of forestry and sawmill waste into 1,100 bpd of ultra-clean transportation fuels, will use Velocys' Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology.
Some of the people at Red Rock came from Pacific Ethanol.
The Denver Business Journal noted: BizWest reports the company [Red Rock] was formed in September 2011 by former employees of Pacific Ethanol Inc.
Note patent infringement suit in ED Ca: GS Cleantech Corporation (owned by GreenShift) v. Pacific Ethanol, Inc., related to GreenShift’s patented corn oil extraction processes. Later, an infringement action was filed March 17, 2014 in federal court in Sacramento, California accused Pacific Ethanol Stockton of infringing U.S. Patent No. 7,601,858, entitled “Method of processing ethanol byproducts and related subsystems”