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Performer: Battelle Memorial Institute
Direct Coal-to-Liquids for Jet Fuel Using<br/>Biomass-Derived Solvents
Direct Coal-to-Liquids for Jet Fuel Using
Biomass-Derived Solvents
Website: Battelle Memorial Institute
Award Number: FE0023963
Project Duration: 10/01/2014 – 06/30/2017
Total Award Value: $3,756,938
DOD Share: $2,946,969
Performer Share: $809,969
Technology Area: Coal and Coal Biomass to Liquids
Key Technology: Biomass Feed and Gasification
Location: Columbus, OH; Panama City, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; State College, PA; Morgantown, WV; Dayton, OH

Project Description

This project focuses on investigating a direct coal/biomass to liquids (CBTL) process for producing jet fuel that uses novel biomass-derived solvents with excellent hydrogen-donor capability, eliminates molecular hydrogen (H2) required for producing syncrude, and operates under milder conditions (approx. 500 vs. 2,500 psi). All major process steps will be explored and refined at bench-scale under continuous operating conditions, including (a) biomass conversion to high hydrogen-donor solvents; (b) coal dissolution in biomass-derived solvents to produce syncrude; and (c) two-stage catalytic hydrogenation/ hydrotreating of syncrude to jet fuel and other distillates. The process will be scaled-up to continuous, pre-pilot scale. Project development efforts—utilizing domestic coal as 55 percent of the input feedstock on a BTU basis (higher heating value) and 45 percent biomass via the direct CBTL process—are expected to advance development of high-hydrogen donor bio-oil solvents and two-stage catalytic syncrude hydrogenation/hydrotreating technologies.

Project Benefits

The project supports program goals to enable CTL/CBTL plants that demonstrate (1) a straightforward path to near-term commercial production (5 – 10 years out); (2) production that includes a commercially-viable quantity of jet fuel; (3) substantial reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to make significant progress toward satisfying requirements in Section 526 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007; and (4) substantial reduction in capital and operating costs to make significant progress toward cost-competitiveness with petroleum-based jet fuels.

Project Status

All research activities for developing and scaling the process technology to pre-pilot scale at technology readiness level 5 (TRL–5)—production of syncrude, upgrading to jet and diesel fuels, and testing of product fuels—are complete. A conceptual process design is complete with the techno-economic and GHG emissions analyses being the only remaining work. The technology is ready for pilot-scale demonstration at TRL 6–7, which is beyond the scope of the current project.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Jason Lewis:
Technology Manager K David Lyons:
Principal Investigator Dr. Satya Chauhan:


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