Biofuels through Multi-Energy Optimized Processing
Award last edited on: 9/9/22

Sponsored Program
Awarding Agency
Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Solicitation Topic Code
Principal Investigator
George Christopher Getty

Company Information

A E Resources Inc

341 Coal Valley Road
Jefferson Hills, PA 15025
   (412) 996-2002
Location: Single
Congr. District: 18
County: Allegheny

Phase I

Contract Number: FA8649-21-P-0389
Start Date: 2/9/21    Completed: 5/3/21
Phase I year
Phase I Amount
A new technology to produce biofuels has been developed by A E Resources (AE), which addresses challenges in both cost and sustainability for most common biofuels on the market. The new patented process, named Multi-Energy Optimized Processing (MEOP), uses microwave energy to heat the biofuels precursor reactants, and ultrasound energy to better disperse and mix them. A prototype refinery based on MEOP is presently operating, generating 60 gal/hr or up to 500,000 gal/year in a continuous process (the technology readiness level is 7). Microwaves heat the reactants above their boiling point at a defined location in the reactor vessel. The frequency of the microwave heater is tuned to selectively heat only the reactants in the process, such as methanol in the synthesis of Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME), commonly known as biodiesel. Together with the superior ability to focus microwave radiation compared to traditional heating elements, the method is far more efficient in delivering process heat than traditional biofuels refineries (biodiesel: 662 BTU/gal with MEOP versus 4,912 BTU/gal status quo). The biofuels synthesis is assisted by ultrasound actuators which optimize the mixing between the reactants by creating smaller and more spatially dispersed droplets, which further reduces the required energy input compared to traditional biofuel reactors. MEOP is widely applicable and has been successfully tested with a range of products, including extracting algae oil, processing corn stover feedstock, and biodiesel from used fryer oil and a range of plant oils. The latter implies applicability to camelina oil, which has been extensively tested by the Air Force. For any given fuel chemistry, a MEOP reactor reduces catalyst use (e.g., 0.2% NaOH with MEOP versus 0.5% status quo) and pretreatment requirements: the MEOP prototype is presently running with high-FFA fatty acids, which are not normally suitable for immediate biodiesel processing. Regarding Phase II opportunities, MEOP is highly versatile and can be adapted to creating synthetic paraffinic kerosene by adding a hydrogenation step, which can be readily used as a 50% additive for AF jet fuels. Further, MEOP is scalable and sufficiently compact to enable retrofitting existing biofuels refineries to lower their energy cost. Lastly, in contrast with present commercial batch refineries, MEOP operates continuously and generates biofuels with the same energy efficiency regardless of plant size, enabling refineries small enough to be containerized and globally deployed. Beyond a Phase II project phase, MEOP’s high level of process control renders it a prime candidate to creating drop-in bio-jet fuel with no blending requirement through catalytic hydrothermal cracking, decarboxylation, and isomerization to produce the desired mix of hydrocarbons

Phase II

Contract Number: ----------
Start Date: 00/00/00    Completed: 00/00/00
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