Chevron Commits $12 M to Research Cellulosic Biofuels and Hydrogen

Chevron Corporation and the Georgia Institute of Technology will pursue advanced technology aimed at making cellulosic biofuels and hydrogen viable transportation fuels.

Chevron Technology Ventures, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, plans to collaborate with Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute and contribute up to $12 million over five years for research into and development of these emerging energy technologies that may well serve as the next generation of renewable transportation fuels. The focus of the joint research is to develop commercially viable processes for the production of transportation fuels from renewable resources such as forest and agricultural waste. This is viewed as an important advancement over first-generation biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, which are made from agricultural crops such as corn, sugarcane and soybeans. “This research alliance underscores Chevron’s commitment to expand and diversify the world’s energy sources and represents an ambitious effort to achieve breakthrough technology in the development of cellulosic biofuels,” said Don Paul, vice president and chief technology officer, Chevron Corporation. The alliance will focus its research on four areas: production of cellulosic biofuels, understanding the characteristics of biofuel feedstocks, developing regenerative sorbents and improving sorbents used to produce high-purity hydrogen. The study will help researchers determine the feasibility of producing commercial volumes of cellulosic biofuels or hydrogen from biomass and also understand the conditions needed for large-scale production facilities. Scientists from Chevron and Georgia Tech are also working to develop regenerative sorbents that can be used repeatedly, thereby reducing the cost of hydrogen production from natural gas. “Beyond this project, Chevron in 2006 expects to spend approximately $400 million in the development of alternative and renewable energy technologies and in delivering energy efficiency solutions,” added Paul.