Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV) and the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have formed a strategic research alliance to advance the development of renewable transportation fuels.
Under a five-year agreement, 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.
The alliance with NREL is the third biofuels research partnership launched by Chevron this year. In September, CTV formed a research partnership with UC Davis (earlier post); in June, the company announced a partnership with Georgia Tech (earlier post).
Through this public-private collaboration we hope to broaden the energy mix by accelerating the development of the next generation of process technologies that will convert cellulosic biomass into biofuels. Process efficiency and suitability for industrial-scale deployment, similar to today’s transportation infrastructure systems, are key success factors.—Don Paul, vice president and chief technology officer, Chevron Corporation
CTV also will 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 then 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. This research will address both of these fundamental challenges.—Rick Zalesky, vice president, Biofuels and Hydrogen, CTV