NAWCWD Signs License Agreement to Turn Alcohol to Jet Fuel

NAWCWD Signs License Agreement to Turn Alcohol to Jet Fuel

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The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) has signed a co-exclusive patent license agreement with Cobalt Technologies. The agreement includes a suite of inventions covering technology capable of converting butanol to drop-in jet fuels that was developed by scientists at NAWCWD. [caption id="attachment_13447" align="alignright" width="214" caption="A NAWCWD research chemist sets up a pressure reactor in preparation for the fuel synthesis process. (Photo: U.S. Navy)"][/caption] NAWCWD’s alcohol-to-jet fuel team has developed and pursued patent protection for a series of catalytic reactions that effectively convert n-butanol to alternative fuels that, when blended with petroleum fuels, meet and exceed the strict Navy guidelines for JP-5 (jet fuel) and F-76 (ship fuel). This technology is considered a commercially viable solution toward meeting Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’ Great Green Fleet objective, which targets the production of eight million gallons of alternative fuels for fleet use by 2020. One of the goals of this objective is that half of the Navy's energy consumption will come from alternative sources by 2020. Cobalt Technologies, a small business that produces bio-n-butanol from renewable feedstocks, is the first industrial entity to license this technology. The company, based in Mountain View, Calif., recently received a Department of Energy award to more fully develop this alternative fuel processing using NAWCWD’s licensed inventions. NAWCWD Executive Director Scott O’Neil said he is pleased that the investment made in research and development has transitioned into a technology highly valued by industry. “We’re using innovative R&D (research and development) results to create intellectual property that’s now licensed to the commercial sector to create products that will ultimately benefit the warfighter.” [caption id="attachment_13446" align="alignleft" width="243" caption="Rear Adm. Paul Sohl, NAWCWD commander, signs the agreement with Cobalt Technologies on April 8. (Photo: U.S. Navy)"][/caption] The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, which tested the alternative fuels produced by NAWCWD’s technology, also played a critical role in evaluating the technology. “This whole Navy-industry collaboration presents an opportunity to bring a potentially cost-competitive route to alternative fuels from renewable resources,” O’Neil said. “NAWCWD will continue to develop new and innovative strategies for fuels that include JP-5 and F-76, and may eventually expand to alternative and heavy fuels related to tactical weapons. We invent; that’s what NAWCWD does.”  
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