Diversified Energy Corporation has been granted an exclusive worldwide license for the Centia (TM) process, an innovative and breakthrough biofuels technology, by North Carolina State University (NCSU). It provides several key advantages when compared with other biofuel processes like biodiesel, ethanol and others, including:
- Delivers a more advanced and complex hydrocarbon fuel, suitable for demanding applications like jet fuel and as a biodiesel additive for cold-weather operations.
- Provides up to a 50% reduction in external energy required in the process.
- Utilizes any renewable lipid-based oil compound (soybean, canola, animal fats, algae, etc), thus avoiding being beholden to the price and availability of any one supply source.
- Produces an aviation fuel competitively priced with petroleum-derived fuel, before considering the additional financial incentives available from the government.
- Offers a "100% green" biofuel product containing no fossil fuel components.
The patent pending Centia (TM) process can utilize feedstock oils from edible and inedible animal fats, waste oils, agriculture crops like soybean, algae, newly proposed energy crops, or any other lipid-based feedstock.
The process is expected to deliver an end-to-end energy efficiency in excess of 85%, a key metric in determining the eventual affordability of the biofuel generated. This high efficiency is a result of the process requiring less than one-half the external energy to operate than other traditional biofuels techniques.
Henry Lamb, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at NCSU said triglycerides are converted into fatty acids, which are treated in a reactor to produce hydrocarbons.
NCSU has been developing the pieces to Centia (TM) over the last decade. Recent results have proven the fundamental science and defined a path forward to an integrated demonstration and pilot-scale plant.
Centia(TM) is initially being positioned to produce commercial and military jet fuel and a cold-weather biodiesel additive -- both of which are challenging and complex hydrocarbon fuels and heretofore have received little attention by the biofuels industry.
Jeff Hassannia, a vice president for Diversified Energy said a pilot project would be put together over the next 12 to 18 months to produce 16,000 gallons of jet fuel within a year. At this point in time, inedible animal fats are the best choice for feedstock because they are 30 to 40 percent cheaper than vegetable-based oils. Hassannia also said the jet fuel could be produced by vegetable oils, soybeans, algae and canola.The fuel will also be compliant to aviation fuel specifications, including energy density and cold flow properties. The process is "100% green," not relying on the use of any petroleum-derived products as components in the biofuel produced.
To date, Diversified has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the technology, and plans to invest millions more, said Dave Thompson, the company's founder.