The world is looking to transition from petroleum-based processes to more sustainable feedstocks. With increased availability and decreased cost, ethanol is potentially a promising platform molecule for the production of a variety of bio-fuels. Currently, bioethanol accounts for almost 90% of global biofuel production. Driven by the latest innovations world ethanol production is increasing rapidly.
Bio Jet Fuel
ExJet is a first-of-a-kind technology specifically designed to make jet-fuel from ethanol. A unique solid-acid catalyst converts ethanol to light olefins, iso-butane and aromatics in a FCC reactor. Lights olefins are then alkylated with iso-butane to produce jet-fuel in a fixed-bed reactor. No external hydrogen is required for the process which significantly reduces capital costs. The process has been designed to allow current refineries to be revamped to produce jet-fuel from bio-alcohols.
The Exelus approach for producing bio-alkylate from bio-ethanol is similar to the ExJet process, but is run under slightly different conditions to favor iso-octane formation. To overcome the low reactivity of ethylene, Exelus has developed a bi-functional catalyst which first converts ethylene to butenes. The highly reactive butenes are then converted to alkylate in the presence of isobutane over selective Bronsted acid sites