US company produces algae oil that is converted to jet fuel and tested by Air Force
Independence Bio-Products (IBP) of Dublin, Ohio has produced an algae oil that has then been converted to jet fuel and tested by the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. The algae was grown in open ponds in Ohio and harvested with the company’s patent pending system. The company is calling this a significant breakthrough, which is a part of a federally funded project to examine Algae to Fuel (ATF) processing strategies.
IBP founder and President Ron Erd said that testing of the algae-derived fuel sample by the Air Force laboratory has confirmed that the composition of the fuel derived from the Ohio-grown algae is similar to fuel derived from other plant oils such as soybeans, Jatropha or camelina, which are already being investigated as jet fuel precursors.
The pond algae was separated from water and dried, followed by extraction and purification of the algae oil. The algae oil was upgraded to fuel by Applied Research Associates, of Panama City, Florida using a catalytic “hydrothermolysis” process to convert the plant triglycerides to pure hydrocarbons very similar to their petroleum counterparts.