Woody Biomass Conversion to Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels
Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), Ft. Belvoir, VA: $3.3 million
The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) will invest $3.3 million to advance wood to jet fuel technology at the Technology Research Center (TRC) of the Forest Bioproducts Research Institute at the University of Maine. The technology is based on FBRI’s patented thermal deoxygenation (TDO) process, which was shown to yield jet fuel test samples that have met key specification. In order to improve process economics, FBRI will investigate co-production of advanced materials, such as nanocelluose composites, as well as some high-value chemicals from woody biomass and liquid hydrocarbon fuels. This project will explore conversion of cellulose and lignin to liquid hydrocarbon fuels, and use of hemicellose extract and cellulose fiber slip streams for developing high-value co-products. UMaine’s research approach, based on potential sustainable supply of woody biomass, will provide new opportunities for high-value use as an alternative to direct combustion in biomass power plants, where energy efficiency is often very low. In addition, FBRI plans to finish reassembly of recently relocated biomass hydrolysis pilot plant, for converting biomass into levulinic and formic acids, to keep this unique critical research infrastructure operating in Maine and train students.