The Green Diesel and Green Jet Fuels from Renewable Feedstocks Team from UOP (Joe Kocal, Peter Kokayeff, John Brady,Don Eizenga, Vic Patton, Andrea Bozzano, Tim Brandvold, Mike McCall, and Sunny Nguyen) won this year’s Excellence in Catalysis Award. This team has developed catalysts and process technology to implement a novel catalytic route to selectively convert bio-derived oils to jet fuels and diesel. Fuels produced using this technology and these feedstocks are fully fungible with the existing fuel distribution system and engines, and provide a practical means to reduce CO2 emissions from the transportation sector and reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Most currently existing bio-based routes to produce these fuels (e.g., FAME) are impractical because they produce both by-products and fuels so different in key properties from the existing commercial supply that significant changes in engines and infrastructure are required to absorb them into the marketplace. This presents a huge hurdle for their economic and commercial acceptance. Other alternative technologies under development may overcome some of these difficulties, but require sugar, a foodstock, as feed. The basic process is covered in US Patent 7,511,181, “Production of Diesel Fuel From Biorenewable Feedstocks”. The economic benefits have been demonstrated and a rigorous life cycle analysis has shown that Green Diesel produced from camelina oil has a greenhouse gas reduction of 89% compared to diesel derived from petroleum.
The Excellence in Catalysis Award lecture took place May 18th at the Somerset-Bridgewater, NJ Crowne Plaza where Dr. Joseph Kocal was presented a plaque and cash award on behalf of the team. The presenter was Dr. Thomas Degnan (at left in the above picture) of ExxonMobil, the sponsor of the award. The chair, Dr. Marco Castaldi, is pictured on the right.