In Ohio, Battelle recently succeeded at the United States Department of Energy (DOE) challenge of making commercially viable transportation fuels from biomass pyrolysis. Scientists and engineers at Battelle demonstrated the durability of a continuous hydrotreatment process that converts bio oil from biomass pyrolysis into transportation and aviation fuels.
The DOE’s specific challenge was to demonstrate at least 1,000 hours of bio oil hydrotreatment on a single catalyst charge, while producing a fuel product suitable as a transportation fuel-blend stock at commercially realistic yield. Longevity of hydrotreatment catalysts has long been the Achilles’ heel for converting biomass pyrolysis oils to biofuels.
Battelle, with its proprietary process and the help of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), was able to overcome and surpass this hurdle relatively quickly, and now has successfully registered more than 1,200 hours on its hydrotreatment catalysts. Scientists and engineers have set their sights on achieving the commercial standard of 4,000 hours in the near future.