Israel Corporation unit reports biomass fuel breakthrough

Primus Green Energy has deal with Lockheed Martin to develop bio-jet fuel for US Defense Department.

By AMIRAM BARKAT, YAEL GRUNTMAN / GLOBES
April 21, 2011 03:08
1 minute read.
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Iranian cargo plane Turkish airport (R) 311. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Primus Green Energy Ltd., a US subsidiary of Israel Corporation’s (TASE: ILCO) renewable energy unit IC Green Energy Ltd., reports that it has developed a process to convert agricultural biomass into standard automotive fuels at a competitive production cost compared with the price of oil. Primus GE uses agricultural residues that do not compete with food crops.

The final product is 93 octane gasoline, with the energy capabilities and characteristics of regular gasoline for vehicles and industry. There is no need for engine customization and it can use existing fuel distribution networks. Primus GE says that its biofuel emits 80% less pollution than gasoline refined from oil.

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As part of Primus GE’s effort to commercialize its product, it has an engineering services agreement with Lockheed Martin Company (NYSE: LWT), which is seeking biofuel solutions, especially for jet fuel, for the US Department of Defense. Primus GE plans to produce bio-jet fuel.

Primus GE is also negotiating a letter of intent with a major US engineering company to be the chief contractor to build Primus GE’s commercial plant.

The company has a cooperation agreement with New York-based Landmark Ventures to lead a future financing round. It also has a letter of intent from Tennessee-based Eco Energy Inc., which currently handles 20% of US ethanol and biodiesel commerce, and it is in contact with US agricultural companies to grow biomass on marginal land, and with logging companies for their wood residue.

Primus GE CEO Dr. Moshe Ben-Reuven founded the company and its chairman, Dr. Yom-Tov Samia, is the president of IC Green Energy.

Samia said Wednesday, “Primus GE can produce 2,000 gallons of biofuel at its pilot facility...



Primus GE’s technology could lead to a positive revolution in the fuel industry, and signals a possible rehab from dependence on oil. IC Green Energy was founded in 2007 on the basis of Idan Ofer’s vision to enter the renewal energy field. Fuel production from wood residue is another aspect of this strategy.”

IC Green Energy operates worldwide, including solar energy in Israeli and biofuel development in Germany. Israel Corp, controlled by the Ofer family, invested $105 million in IC Green Energy through the end of 2010.

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