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EERC to Receive Award to Produce Renewable Fuels from Crambe and Other Oilseed Crops

The EERC has already demonstrated the production of 100% renewable jet fuel that can directly replace petroleum derived jet fuel through a project with DoD. This work will expand this success to focus on additional feedstocks and diesel and gasoline production.
by Staff Writers
Grand Forks ND (SPX) Feb 16, 2009
The Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota announces a $1 million project to evaluate renewable oil refining technologies for commercial production of diesel, jet, and other fuels and chemicals from North Dakota oilseed crops, such as crambe, at Tesoro's Mandan, North Dakota, oil refinery.

Crambe is a drought-tolerant oilseed crop with demonstrated viability throughout western North Dakota and the surrounding region. Unlike soybeans, canola, and other oil seeds, crambe produces an industrial (non-food-grade) oil, and costs less to plant, fertilize, and grow.

The project is a collaboration between the EERC and Tesoro Companies, Inc., of San Antonio, Texas. The North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) awarded $500,000 in cost-share funding. The NDIC award will become active upon receipt by the EERC of an additional $500,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

Tesoro Vice President of Refining and Mandan Refinery Manager John Berger said integrating renewable fuel production into the infrastructure of the current refining system provides an opportunity for Tesoro to more efficiently meet the challenges of reducing its carbon footprint.

"We are proud to be directly involved in partnering with the EERC in this promising project, which has the potential to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels while supporting the local economy and providing an opportunity for North Dakota farmers to produce crops that can be processed into renewable fuels," said Berger.

Unlike biodiesel and ethanol, the EERC technologies convert crop oils to renewable fuels that are essentially indistinguishable from their petroleum-derived counterparts and may be commingled directly with refinery production and transported to consumers through the existing pipeline system.

The EERC has already demonstrated the production of 100% renewable jet fuel that can directly replace petroleum derived jet fuel through a project with DoD. This work will expand this success to focus on additional feedstocks and diesel and gasoline production.

"We appreciate the fact that our partners at NDIC see the value of this project and have pledged their support," said EERC Director Gerald Groenewold.

"The people at Tesoro are also great partners because, like us, they want to see renewable fuels (that are compatible with the existing transportation fuel infrastructure) move out of the laboratory and into the commercial marketplace, and they are willing to leverage their resources to help make it happen."

According to Rick Weyen, Tesoro Vice President, Development-North America, Tesoro is interested in commercial production of renewable fuels that work with existing Tesoro products and distribution networks, do not increase food prices, and are environmentally benign.

"Our role in the project is to provide technical support to the EERC in evaluating technologies and designing a process demonstration facility that would be fully integrated with our existing production capabilities," Weyen said.

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Examine The Gas-to-Liquids Processes For Chemicals And Energy Production
New York NY (SPX) Feb 16, 2009
The gas-to-liquids (GTL) business is involved in the chemical conversion of stranded natural gas feedstocks to liquid products such as transportation fuels and chemicals. Insofar as beneficial processing of the world's huge resource base of stranded natural gas is concerned, GTL processing is a relatively recent R and D focus of the petrochemical industry.







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