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Cobalt Technologies and US Navy to develop military jet fuel

Cobalt Technologies has an agreement with the US Navy to develop technology for the conversion of biobutanol into full performance jet and diesel fuels.

Under the agreement, n-biobutanol produced by Cobalt will be converted to bio-jet and biodiesel fuels using technology developed at the US Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) in China Lake, California.  The result will be a complete substitute for military and civilian jet fuel, meeting all applicable specifications.  In addition, Cobalt will have an option to obtain an exclusive license to commercialize process improvements for the production of all military and civilian transportation fuels.

"We are pleased to collaborate with the US Navy to develop a renewable option for jet fuels," said Rick Wilson, CEO of Cobalt Technologies. "It's exciting to be part of this research, which will help relieve our reliance on foreign oil through the use of renewable fuels developed here in the United States.  With our front end for producing renewable n-butanol and the NAWCWD's technology for converting n-butanol into jet fuel, we can offer a complete process that directly addresses the military's green fuels mandate."

The US Navy has set a high priority on the development of cost-effective and sustainable domestic sources of fuels and has several initiatives in place to increase its use of biofuels, while decreasing its carbon-footprint and dependence on foreign petroleum. By collaborating with the Navy scientists who have expertise in converting biobutanol to bio-jet and biodiesel fuels, Cobalt Technologies is well positioned to demonstrate and implement a large-scale process for generating sustainable and renewable fuel for both military and commercial use.

A team of scientists from Cobalt and the NAWCWD will investigate the optimum conditions for the conversion of Cobalt's n-biobutanol into jet fuel, while ensuring the process minimizes time, cost and energy consumption.  More specifically, the combined team will optimize dehydration chemistry for the conversion of bio-n-butanol to 1-butene, followed by oligomerization of the biobutene into jet fuel, based on a process developed at NAWCWD.

Additional work will focus on converting the biobutanol into butyl ether, which the NAWCWD has shown can be mixed with n-butanol and other compounds to create a viable drop-in diesel fuel replacement.

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