Diversified Energy announces Centia process, DoD contract

By Jessica Ebert
Diversified Energy Corp. recently conducted tests at North Carolina State University to demonstrate it trademarked biofuels production technology, called Centia. The process converts renewable oil from sources such as agricultural crops, algae, animal fats and waste greases into a transportation fuel that can replace petroleum jet fuel, diesel or gasoline. Diversified Energy is the exclusive licenser of the process, which was developed at NCSU in 2006.

The process involves three main steps. In the first step, feedstock oils are heated under pressure to separate the fatty acid chains from glycerol. The latter is burned to produce energy while the free fatty acids are heated, pressurized and passed through a catalyst. In the final step, the fatty acid chains are reformed into biofuels with a chemical structure similar to their petroleum-derived counterparts. This feature enhances the performance of the fuels and reduces the needed modifications to distribution infrastructure or engines.

The NCSU tests used demonstration reactors and a feedstock similar to soybean oil. Further development, optimization and testing activities are being planned.
In separate news, Diversified Energy and Velocys Inc. were selected by the U.S. Department of Defense to design a portable renewable fuel production system for the conversion of waste products generated at military installations to renewable fuels such as diesel and aviation fuel. The first phase of this DoD Small Business Innovative Research project will include bench-scale test data analysis, conceptual design of the production system, economic analysis, and a detailed assessment of system modularity and transportability.