Technology

The patented BIC process converts oils, fats, and greases into renewable diesel, jet and naphtha. Our process is unique in two key aspects: (1) BIC can handle a very wide and diverse array of feedstocks, including very low cost waste feedstocks, such as yellow and brown grease and emerging feedstocks such as industrial, energy crop oils and algal oils; (2) BIC produces a fuel that, molecularly, is nearly identical to fuel produced from petroleum, making it 100% drop in ready.

There are four main steps in the process as shown in Figure 1: (1) a cleanup step, called hydrothermal cleanup (HCU); (2) the actual conversion step, called catalytic hydrothermolysis (CH), wherein the feed oil molecules are converted to molecules that are nearly identical to those found in petroleum; (3) a mild hydrotreating step that is identical to hydrotreating processes employed in petroleum refineries and that essentially removes any remaining unwanted impurities (e.g., oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen, and metals) down to acceptable levels; and (4) a final distillation step that is identical to that employed in petroleum refineries and separates the liquid fuel into the various products. The simplified flow diagram is shown in Figure 1.





Hydrothermal Cleanup (HCU)

The HCU process is an improved version of conventional hydrolysis or fat-splitting processes that has been engineered to achieve rapid hydrolysis and metals reduction. The HCU process separates glycerin and chemically-bound metals and other contaminants from free fatty acids, producing a very clean free fatty acid (FFA) oil product and glycerin water. The FFA product contains less than 20 ppm total metals. Reduction of metals in the HCU process to these levels greatly reduces the potential for coke formation in downstream process equipment and fouling of catalysts.

Catalytic Hydrothermolysis (CH)

Clean FFA oil from the HCU process is combined with preheated feed water and then passed to the CH reactor. In the CH reactor, under very high temperature and pressure conditions, a single phase is formed consisting of FFA and supercritical water (SCW) where the FFAs are cracked, isomerized, and cyclized into paraffin, isoparaffin, cycloparaffin, and aromatic compounds, a product we call “CH crude” oil. The CH crude oil produced by the CH conversion process contains thousands of isomers distributed over the entire boiling range of jet and diesel fuels. Because the hydrocarbon types and isomers formed are identical to those found in petroleum-derived fuels, the fuels produced by this process, ReadiFuelsTM, are true drop-in fuels that do not require blending with their petroleum counterparts.

Hydrotreating

The CH crude oil produced by the CH process is next hydrotreated in a conventional hydrotreating process. The CH crude is first fed to a di-olefin saturator where di-olefins and some olefins are saturated. This stabilizes the CH crude so it can be heated to the temperature necessary for complete hydrogenation in the hydrotreating reactor. The hydrotreating reactor saturates all of the olefins and removes all of the oxygen as water. Both the di-olefin saturator and hydrotreating reactors use a low-cost, commercial nickel-moly sulfide hydrotreating catalyst. The hydrotreated product is partially cooled, hydrogen and water separated, and the organic phase sent to the product distillation unit.

Distillation

The full boiling range hydrocarbon stream can be distilled into full boiling range diesel and naphtha components. A jet fuel stream can also be taken off via a side draw.



A true pathway to parity with petroleum based fuels.

Partnership Applied Research Associates, Inc. Applied Research Associates, Inc. Chevron Lummus Global






a game changing solution.
feedstocks technology commercialization

• True "drop-in" fuels that do not require blending with petroleum

• Fuels contain high-density aromatic, cycloparaffin, and isoparaffin hydrocarbons
• Produced from sustainable non-food plant crops

• Compatible with existing turbine and diesel engines


Latest news & events

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Jan 18, 2013 MEDIA RELEASE

ARA and Blue Sun Energy, Inc. announce partnership to design, construct, and operate demo system   

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Jan 7, 2013 MEDIA RELEASE
Flight results show 50% reduction in emissions and reduced fuel consumption

 

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