Jet Fuel from Waste & 3 other PNNL Technologies Honored by the Federal Laboratory Consortium

Souce: Susan Bauer, PNNL, February 20


RICHLAND, Wash. — In a world increasingly powered by technology, the transfer of innovations from research institutions to industry often serves as both the conduit and catalyst of national progress, security, and prosperity. The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory recently received four awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium in recognition of the dedication, ingenuity, and collaboration required to successfully move new inventions into the marketplace. The laboratory has received 92 FLC awards since the program’s inception in 1984.

Jet fuel from waste

A new ethanol-based jet fuel blend, jointly developed by PNNL and LanzaTech, holds the potential to transform the commercial aviation industry. It promises to lower the cost and the carbon footprint of jet fuel and trim the 900 tons of global carbon dioxide emissions linked to jet aircraft. Using ethanol from any sustainable source, including waste gas captured at steel mills, energy crops, cellulosic residues and municipal waste, the catalytic process converts ethanol into alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene. Called ATJ-SPK, the fuel blend is cleaner-burning and, when blended with petroleum jet at 50 percent, is fully pipeline ready. While PNNL developed the key catalytic step in the conversion process, LanzaTech provided the facilities, commercial alliances and the financial support necessary to scale-up production of the fuel blend. The result is a fuel that is already internationally approved and could help airlines meet long-term carbon and fuel efficiency goals, reduce investor risk and open new markets for sustainable ethanol over the next several decades.

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