A process for converting alcohol sourced from renewable or industrial waste gases into jet or diesel fuel is being scaled up at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory along Oregon State University and LanzaTech .
A single-step chemical conversion streamlines what is currently a multi-step process. The new PNNL-patented catalyst converts biofuel (ethanol) directly into a versatile “platform” chemical called n-butene. A microchannel reactor design further reduces costs while delivering a scalable modular processing system.
The new process would provide a more efficient route for converting renewable and waste-derived ethanol to useful chemicals. The technology reduces emissions of carbon dioxide by using renewable or recycled carbon feedstocks.