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Scale-up of a jet fuel production process from fusel oils

The production of renewable fuels for aviation (biojet) is currently limited at large scale by the decarboxylation of vegetable oils as it is done by the Nesté company, particularly in Europe. Despite the current functionality of this approach, the fact remains that it is essential at this point to produce more renewable fuel for aviation, especially in a perspective of post-COVID economic recovery and keeping in mind that the aerial world remains at this point the most complex to modulate towards generalized electrification. Therefore, it is in the scope of this project, combining GreenField Global, the only producer of fuelgrade ethanol in Quebec, and the Biomass Technology Laboratory of the University of Sherbrooke to valorize a by-product resulting from the production of ethanol, ie fusel oils. These fusel oils contain different types of alcohol with 2 to 5 carbons. The partners (GreenField Global and LTB) are already working on the recovery of longer chain alcohols, but the process also leads to the formation of an ethanol derivative. Thus, as part of this project, the team will try to make use of this by-product for the production of aviation fuel. The interest of this approach will apply to ethanol of different carbon intensity as fusel oils are a production constant during fermentation. Thus, the process could possibly be adapted to ethanol from a cellulosic source, which in time can only have a favorable impact on the carbon intensity of the biofuel intended for aviation that will be produced.

Jean-Michel Lavoie

Université de Sherbrooke

CRIBIQ's contribution

$ 453 432


Industrial participants :

GreenField Global

*Quebec public research institutes :

University of Sherbrooke