Renewable fuels company Maverick Biofuels has been awarded three U.S. patents for its biofuels production technology.
The Research Triangle Park company, founded in 2008, has developed a way to turn waste and low-value feedstocks into the the building blocks of renewable fuels. The company’s technology converts landfill waste, biomass and natural gas into synthesis gas. Also called syngas, this gas is a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen gases. The syngas is then converted into an olefin intermediate.
Olfeins are the building blocks of mixed-alcohol fuels, diesel fuel and polymers.
Maverick’s new patents cover the production of a mixed-alcohol fuel from syngas, via a methanol intermediate.
“The increasing concern over foreign energy supplies, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste has driven national interest in using local waste streams, as well as sustainable biomass production, as feedstocks for bio-based products,” Maverick CEO Sam Yenne said in a statement. “Our new patents open up a wide range of chemical processing and product options that help convert waste into petroleum-free fuels and chemicals.
The company had previously been awarded a patent in South Africa for producing an alcohol blend that can be used in flexible fuel vehicles. Additional patents are pending in the United States, Brazil, India, Europe and the Philippines.
In 2011, Maverick Biofuels received a Small Business Innovation Research program grant from the National Science Foundation. It chose to build a pilot production plant in North Carolina in 2010.
In 2012, the firm signed a joint development agreement with Enerjetik and a joint technology development initiative with TopLine Energy Systems.
The Enerjetik agreement called for a pilot-scale production facility to be built in Denver, Colo.