North Carolina State University engineers have developed technology that can see almost any fat source in the future be used as a feedstock in the production of jet plane biofuel. Referred to as Centia, from 'crudus potentia,' or 'green power' in Latin, the process has been provisionally patented by NC State which can convert virtually any lipid-based feedstock or fat into jet fuel or additives for cold-weather biofuels. This includes utilising low-cost waste fat sources such as cooking grease which are significantly cheaper than edible feedstocks like soybean or canola oil.

Other advantages of the technology are said to be that no petroleum-derived products are added to the process; the glycerol by-product is used as a heating agent to power high temperature steps in the reaction; and biofuel can be produced that is capable of dealing with the incredibly cold temperatures found at the high altitudes that modern passenger aircraft fly at.

Analysis: The really smart thing about the four step Centia process is that while it has two common, initial steps no matter what the feedstock, the final two steps can be tweaked to produce virtually any fuel composition required. This is very smart technology because it takes low cost feedstocks and builds whatever high-value biofuel you need out of them.

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[Source: The Engineer]

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