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Tyton BioEnergy Systems Develops New Method for Turning Plant Oils into Jet Fuel

Wednesday, March 30, 2016  
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Tyton BioEnergy Systems announced a major technological advancement in the production of sustainable jet fuel. Tyton filed a patent application for a new method and system of converting oil extracted from plant biomass or seeds directly into jet fuel using its proprietary processing technology. Tyton's approach is an improvement over state-of-the-art methods of producing non-fossil jet fuels from plant oils, which involve costly and time-intensive pretreatment and processing steps. Tyton aims to scale-up and commercialize its modular, low-cost plant-to-jet-fuel technology after completing several more development steps.

Tyton's novel process of transforming plant oils into jet fuel is clean, fast, and cost-effective. Plant oils may be derived from plant biomass, for example Tyton's high-quality oil is produced from its proprietary non-smoking tobacco crop, from seeds, or from waste vegetable oils discarded by restaurants after frying food. Tyton puts the plant oils through its proprietary, continuous process, adding an in situ source of hydrogen that is needed for producing jet fuel. The environmental and cost improvements are notable against the industry-standard HEFA (Hydrotreated Ester and Fatty Acids) pathway, which requires costly pretreatment and multi-step hydro-treating and cracking, and the Fischer-Tropsch (FT) pathway, which requires energy intensive gasification.

Tyton's technology was developed in its Danville, VA, headquarters, and will be scaled from the laboratory to Tyton's already operating multi-ton pilot-scale reactor, to full commercial scale. Tyton's technology is a game-changer for the aviation industry in that plant-based jet fuel production can be decentralized at variable scale, offering production opportunities near local airports and major air travel hubs. The technology is a win for the environment, for farmers, and local economies where the fuel can be produced.

Tyton BioEnergy Systems president Peter Majeranowski said, "Tyton's new technology can be a game-changer for the US Navy and the global community of airlines that seek to minimize the carbon impact of jet fuel. Our ultra-rapid conversion process is cheaper and cleaner because we don't use expensive and toxic metal catalysts." He added, "We are looking forward to establishing partnerships with big players in the industry to ensure our technological breakthroughs are deployed as quickly as possible."

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