EERC Receives US $1M Produce Renewable Fuels

The Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at the University of North Dakota announced a US $1 million project to evaluate renewable oil refining technologies for commercial production of diesel, jet and other fuels and chemicals made from North Dakota oilseed crops, such as crambe, at Tesoro’s Mandan, North Dakota, oil refinery.

Crambe is a drought-tolerant oilseed crop with demonstrated viability throughout western North Dakota and the surrounding region. Unlike soybeans, canola, and other oil seeds, crambe produces an industrial (non-food-grade) oil, and costs less to plant, fertilize and grow.

The project is a collaboration between the EERC and Tesoro Companies Inc., of San Antonio, Texas. The North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) awarded US $500,000 in cost-share funding. The NDIC award will become active upon receipt by the EERC of an additional US $500,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

“We are proud to be directly involved in partnering with the EERC in this promising project, which has the potential to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels while supporting the local economy and providing an opportunity for North Dakota farmers to produce crops that can be processed into renewable fuels,” said John Berger Tesoro’s vice president of Refining and Mandan Refinery Manager.

The EERC has already demonstrated the production of 100% renewable jet fuel that can directly replace petroleum derived jet fuel through a project with DOD. This work will expand this success to focus on additional feedstocks and diesel and gasoline production.

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