Fuel Industry Veteran Opines On Technology Patent Dispute

    Fuel Intellectual Property ExpertThis case involves an intellectual property dispute between two fuel companies over gasoline blending. The patent in question allowed for the accurate blending of the gasoline at the point of distribution based on its volatility level. An expert in the field of gasoline blending with considerable experience in designing and engineering similar technology was sought to discuss the extent of the patent infringement.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please describe your experience with blender systems as it relates to gasoline distribution.
    • 2. Can you provide a detailed overview of the history and development of blenders in the bulk petroleum distribution space?
    • 3. Can you explain how operations and industry standards have changed since the Federal Clean Air Act and Renewable Fuels Standard regulations were enacted?

    Expert Witness Response E-054864

    As an operations director, I oversaw the operations of several different blend systems including a blend into a refined products stream. I also worked with a small company that reviewed the patents and application in this area and developed alternatives to the patent for potential customers. I have created relevant intellectual property as part of a small team that developed a potential alternative to a fueling logistics patent. In addition, I have run the economic models for blending, and I have developed and estimated butane blending products for several terminal companies. Butane blending has been going on for a long time. A lot of it was in-tank or by process modifications. Recently, there has been some intentional direct blending of butane into motor gasoline. There are two large primary operators in the blend space. I believe others are blending on a terminal-by-terminal basis. Since the 1990s, the volume of environmental paperwork and documentation have increased greatly. Agencies have imposed stricter standards on equipment that releases emissions into the air. BACT (Best Available Control Technology) was implemented on most large operators, and documentation and permitting requirements have increased.

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