Indirect Liquefaction of Coal-Biomass Mixtures for Production of Jet Fuel with High Productivity and Selectivity


Southern Research Institute
Website:  Southern Research Institute
Award Number:  FE0024083
Project Duration:  10/01/2014 – 12/31/2017
Total Award Value:  $3,786,008
DOD Share:  $3,028,807
Performer Share:  $757,201
Technology Area:  Coal and Coal Biomass to Liquids
Key Technology:  Advanced Fuels Synthesis
Location:  Durham, North Carolina

Project Description

Southern Research Institute will conduct a research and development project to provide innovative improvements to indirect coal liquefaction for conversion of coal or coal/biomass mixtures to jet fuel with high productivity and selectivity. This project proposes the production of a hydrocarbon product from a coal/biomass blend. The hydrocarbon product will be directly blended with petroleum-based jet fuel at approximately 50% by volume with the resulting mixture meeting JP-8 specifications. The project focus is to reduce the cost, increase process efficiency and improve the life-cycle for coal-to-liquids (CTL) production of jet fuel through process intensification design upgrades for the reactor, catalyst and catalyst bed configuration.

Project Benefits

The project will focus on meeting the program goals to: (1) produce products that include a commercially-viable quantity of jet fuel; (2) make significant progress towards meeting lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions requirements of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and; (3) make significant progress toward being cost competitive with petroleum based jet fuel. The Compact Autothermal Reactor, Hybrid FT Catalyst, and Efficient Heat Removal Incorporated Fixed-Bed Reactor technologies are anticipated to be advanced by the project development efforts utilizing Powder River Basin (PRB) sub-bituminous coal/wood pellet blends containing 55 to 75 % coal on a BTU basis in the coal/biomass to JP-8 jet fuel process.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Venkat Venkataraman:
Technology Manager 
K David Lyons:
Principal Investigator 
Santosh Gangwal:

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