Chevron and NREL to Advance Cellulosic Biofuels

Chevron Technology Ventures LLC (CTV), a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will research and develop renewable transportation fuels in a five-year strategic research alliance to create new production technologies.

Researchers from CTV and NREL will collaborate on projects to develop the next generation of process technologies that will convert cellulosic biomass, such as forestry and agricultural wastes, into biofuels such as ethanol and renewable diesel. “Through this public/private collaboration we hope to broaden the energy mix,” said Don Paul, vice president and chief technology officer of Chevron Corporation, “by accelerating the development of the next generation of process technologies that will convert cellulosic biomass into biofuels.” The alliance with NREL is the third biofuels research partnership launched by Chevron this year. CTV will also fund research that complements DOE-sponsored work at NREL on bio-oil reforming, a process by which bio-oils derived from the decomposition of biological feedstocks are converted into hydrogen. This research may expedite the development of a feed-flexible, distributed-reforming process for renewable hydrogen production as well as provide the hydrogen necessary in some potential biofuels conversion technologies. “We believe that for the next generation of biofuels production to become commercially viable there must be flexibility to diversify the feedstocks, and the processes by which the biofuels are produced must also increase in efficiency and effectiveness,” said Rick Zalesky, vice president, Biofuels and Hydrogen, CTV. “This research will address both of these fundamental challenges.”

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