NRCan’s SUPERCETANE Process: Production of High Cetane Diesel Fuel from Low-Quality Biomass-Derived Feedstocks

The Business Opportunity

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is seeking expressions of interest from biorefinery developers, process developers, licensors to oil refineries, and diesel additive producers to become our licensee to lead commercialization of NRCan’s patented SUPERCETANE process which yields a hydrocarbon-based fuel that can be used as a high-cetane diesel fuel blending stock.  SUPERCETANE may be commercialized to end-users including rendering firms, oil refineries, diesel fuel producers and biorefineries in Canada and around the world.


The production of diesel fuel from renewable sources was pursued in response to climate change, a desire to develop markets for agricultural products, and to encourage production of drop-in renewable diesel fuels that are fully compatible with current transportation fuels and infrastructure.  The production of biodiesel from vegetable oils and yellow grease via esterification processes is a first generation biofuel with problematic cold flow properties.  For this reason, regulations in Canada limit biodiesel to 2% in diesel fuel in Canada.  NRCan’s patented process yields SUPERCETANE, a drop-in hydrocarbon-based fuel which can be used in higher concentrations as high-cetane diesel fuel blending stock.

Advantages of NRCan’s SUPERCETANE process:

Feed grease is converted into clean, high-quality SUPERCETANE

Feed grease (left) is converted into clean, high-quality SUPERCETANE (right).

  • Ability to process a wide variety of feedstocks, including high free fatty acid (FFA) materials;
  • Yields SUPERCETANE product which contains a high cetane number (~100) and low sulphur content (less than 10 ppm);
  • The SUPERCETANE product is very stable, presenting no storage stability issues;
  • It is fully compatible with petroleum-derived diesel fuels at all concentration eliminating blending problems;
  • Yields a higher cetane diesel fuel than esterification processes;
  • Reductions in diesel exhaust emissions of NOx, particulates, hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide; and
  • Production of useable hydrocarbon by-products that are suited to petroleum refinery streams.

Reference Material

Information about the SUPERCETANE technology can be found at the following links:
NRCan Website:
US Patent #7754931
Canadian Patent #2621231
Mexican Patent #305480
Australian Patent #2006294366

Expressions of Interest

NRCan invites interested companies to submit a business plan as outlined in Appendix A: Required Business Plan Format by November 30, 2017 to the contact below.

Please note that the deadline for business plans has been extended until January 5, 2018.

Please note that the deadline for this opportunity has passed and NRCan is no longer accepting expressions of interest.


Anne Woods,
Licensing Officer
Intellectual Property Division
Natural Resources Canada

Appendix A: Business Plan Required Format

Executive Summary

Company Overview
Organizational maturity
Experience /success in the industry
Technical capability
Marketing capacity
Corporate objectives

  • Short-term objectives
  • Long-term objectives

Market, Customer, and Competition Analysis
Market opportunity, size and trends
Key customer bases
Key competitors

Production and Marketing Plan
Product description
Distribution channel(s)
Marketing and sales strategy

Financial Information
Five year cash flow forecast
Capital cost estimates
Operating budgets
Manufacturing costs
Sale price
Profit margin targets
Proposed royalty structure

Implementation and Operating Considerations
Risks and assumptions