PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -- A Florida company that's made a name for itself in the development of sustainable jet fuel just won a $15 million contract with the Department of Agriculture.
Applied Research Associates and other partners will aid in developing fuel from what's called a carinata plant by commercializing the crop. The facility here uses a process they patented to turn those seeds into fuel that looks like petroleum.
The Vice President of Fuels Development, Chuck Red, says this will mean a lot for a facility in Florida.
"Right now there's, there are no gallons of fuels produced in Florida," Red said. "There's no refining done in Florida at all, there's a little bit of bio-diesel, but there's no petroleum being done here, no renewable diesel like what we make here. So this will be an enabler for Florida to move into that sphere."
Red says the plans for this coming winter are to grow 30 to 40,000 acres of carinata crops, whereas last year saw the use of only 3,000 acres. Those crops will be planted anywhere north of Orlando, and up into the Mississippi Valley.