UMaine research on the wood to jet fuel project reached an important milestone in early October, 2013. A one liter sample of the kerosene fraction of the hydrotreated UMaine TDO oil was tested by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in Ohio. The sample was found to have met flash point, freezing point, smoke point specifications for JP-8, with a heat of combustion of 42.6 MJ/kg (min spec 42.8), hydrogen content of 12.88% (min spec 13.4%), and density of 0.875 (max spec 0.84). Blending or additional hydrotreating can fix these parameters.
Earlier, the diesel fraction of hydrotreated UMaine TDO oil was found to meet specifications for HDCD-76 navy fuel. UMaine TDO oil is a synthetic crude oil made by Thermal DeOxygenation (TDO) of mixed organic acid salts that can be produced by hydrolysis and dehydration of woody biomass.
TDO forms a core of patented UMaine technologies developed by the Thermal Conversion group led by Dr. Clayton Wheeler with two chemical engineering undergraduates involved as co-inventors.
Currently, the floor-scale TDO production, hydrotreatment, and fractionation facility at the FBRI Technology Research Center (TRC) can process one liter batches of UMaine TDO oil per day. This work was funded on a project sponsored by the Logistics Research and Development Program at the Headquarters of the Defense Logistics Agency, Fort Belvoir, VA.
Earlier work resulting in patent applications was funded by the Department of Energy. A comprehensive paper on “Characterization and Combustion of Crude Thermal Deoxygenation Oils derived from Hydrolyzed Woody Biomass” was published in Energy & Fuels in July 2013.
Graduate thesis work on fundamentals of TDO process is underway with support of Department of Energy EPSCoR award co-funded by the DOE Biomass Program
This information was posted by Kay Mann for Rick Smith, President of the Hydrogen Energy Center.