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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

Comstock applies for DOE grant to demo ‘unique, new pathways’ for renewable diesel, SAF production

Comstock Inc. announced Sept. 15 its filing of a grant application with the U.S. DOE to build a pre-pilot-scale system to demonstrate one of its “unique, new pathways to produce renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, gasoline, and marine fuel from forestry residues and other forms of lignocellulosic biomass at dramatically improved yield, efficiency and cost in comparison to known methods,” the company stated.

According to Comstock, it has developed “a breakthrough process that efficiently deconstructs woody biomass and residuals into uniquely isolated biointermediates that are free of the contaminants that have frustrated prior attempts at broadly commercializing cellulosic fuels.”

The company stated that its biointermediates include cellulosic sugar produced from “a purified form of cellulose that has been stripped of bioconversion inhibitors,” in addition to a “unique mixture of hydrocarbons” to which Comstock refers as “Bioleum.”

Cellulosic sugar can be used as a fermentation feedstock to produce ethanol, lipids and many other products, Comstock noted.

“Bioleum is a form of biocrude with about 75 percent of the energy content of fossil crude,” the company stated. “While Comstock’s biointermediates can be used in multiple renewable fuel pathways, Comstock’s grant application is based on fermenting cellulosic sugar into lipids, reacting the lipids with Bioleum to produce a single homogenous feedstock, and converting that homogeneous feedstock into drop-in renewable fuels, at yields exceeding 80 gallons per dry ton of feedstock (on a gasoline gallon-equivalent basis).”

According to Comstock, its grant application is supported by a team of collaborators including Topsoe, Marathon Petroleum, Novozymes, Xylome Corp., RenFuel K2B AB, Emerging Fuels Technology Inc., the University of Nevada Reno, the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resources Research Institute, and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with such an exceptional team of industry leaders,” said Corrado De Gasperis, Comstock’s executive chairman and CEO. “The combined team enables an extremely valuable ecosystem for advancing a highly scalable and rapidly replenishable new feedstock source for renewable fuels. This ecosystem is capable of making material contributions to neutralizing U.S. mobility emissions and delivering net-zero emissions by 2050.”

Comstock stated it intends to achieve exponential growth by building, owning and operating a fleet of advanced carbon-neutral extraction and refining facilities, by selling an array of complementary process solutions and related services, and by licensing selected technologies to qualified strategic partners.

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