Bioenergy

ConocoPhillips Establishes $22.5 M Biofuels Research Program at Iowa State

ConocoPhillips, which recently announced its support for the mandatory national framework to address greenhouse gas emissions, will establish an eight-year, $22.5 million research program at Iowa State University dedicated to developing technologies that produce biorenewable fuels.

The grant is part of ConocoPhillips’ plan to create joint research programs with major universities to produce viable solutions to diversify America’s energy sources. “I’m pleased Iowa State University and ConocoPhillips will partner to research and develop new technologies for producing biofuels,” said Iowa Governor Chet Culver. “We believe the key to a secure energy future is the efficient and effective use of a diverse mix of energy sources,” said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer of ConocoPhillips. “ConocoPhillips is developing long-term relationships with respected academic institutions such as Iowa State to research extensions of traditional energy sources that ultimately will benefit consumers.” Robert C. Brown, the Iowa Farm Bureau Director of Iowa State’s Office of Biorenewables Programs, said ConocoPhillips is especially interested in converting biomass to fuel through fast pyrolysis, a process that uses heat in the absence of oxygen to decompose biomass into a liquid product. The so-called bio-oil can be used as a heating oil or can be converted into transportation fuel at petroleum refineries. Brown said ConocoPhillips also will sponsor studies of other thermochemical technologies that produce biofuels.