Colombia, Maryland, USA — Catalyst company W.R. Grace and Co announced that it was selected to receive up to $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for the evaluation and enhancement of advanced biofuel technologies.
Grace will develop technologies for the thermochemical conversion of biomass to advanced biofuels that are compatible with existing fueling infrastructure. The work will be done in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL). Also on the team are VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, who will be providing pyrolysis oils, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who will study corrosion.
Grace and PNNL researchers will use a thermochemical process known as pyrolysis, which breaks down biomass using heat to produce bio-oils that can be further processed in existing petroleum refineries into transportation fuels. The technologies will upgrade bio-oils into gasoline, diesel and jet fuels using a specialized catalytic reactor designed to resist corrosion and extend catalyst lifetime.
Susan Ehrlich, Business Director of Grace Renewable Technologies, commented, “Our understanding of catalysts, combined with their pyrolysis and process development expertise, will position us to accelerate the commercialization of this new technology and production process.”