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Grace Announces New BioFuel Technologies Group

Grace Davison, an operating segment of WR Grace and a global supplier of catalysts and chemicals, has established a BioFuel Technologies Group that will oversee intensified product development in the renewable fuels industry.

The first areas the BioFuel Technologies Group will focus on include catalysts and adsorbents for enhanced biodiesel and bioethanol production, as well as chromatography-based analytical and quality control tools.

The BioFuel Technologies Group combines previous efforts across product lines, leveraging the company’s existing global infrastructure and enabling Grace to offer integrated customer solutions and technical support.

Grace expects the BioFuel Technologies Group to capitalize on an estimated average growth rate of 15% in the biofuels industry, as reported by a study prepared by the Worldwatch Institute.

Davison FCC catalysts and additives. Source: Grace

Grace’s Davison Catalysts is the world’s leading producer of fluid cracking catalysts (FCC) and additives used by oil refineries to produce gasoline and other petroleum-based products.

A Davison joint venture with Chevron—Advanced Refining Technologies—is a market leader in hydroprocessing catalysts used to upgrade refining feedstocks and fuels.



If they can produce a group of catalysts that can make ethanol from gasified biomass syngas, that would help.

allen Z

Or Butanol, or other clean Synfuels.

An Engineer

Why ethanol? Trying to replace most of the existing vehicle fleet? How about all gasoline pipelines? Storage tanks at fill stations? In short, what makes ethanol the wonder fuel?

Far better to produce renewable gasoline and diesel, that can be blended with existing fuel supplies at any ratio, for a smooth transition from fossil to renewable, with no-one even noticing...


They will produce ethanol, because there is a market for it. As soon as you can create a market for any other fuel that has the economics, then they just might.

An Engineer

Right now ethanol looks good to producers because it is more expensive than other fuels (note to E85 fans: E85 may be cheaper by the gallon, but by the BTU or kWh it is still more expensive than gasoline).

Eventually, ethanol will have to compete with other fuels as just another fuel. As the E85 experience suggests, there are few consumers out there willing to fork over more money just for the privilege of burning ethanol. Add to that the fact that ethanol cannot be transported in existing pipelines, its tendency to absorb moisture, and I would suggest that ethanol is going to fade away quietly. Consumer Reports seems to agree...


It is intersting to see that Grace is looking at ethanol. Could it be that earlier patenters in other areas have got them sown up?

I've just come across some information about the conversion factor of wheat to ethanol in my blog
which you can see at


Sometimes the superior product does not win out in the market, but rather the most popular product that gains the most market share. Carter asked ADM in the 70s if they could produce enough ethanol, they said sure. With almost 30 years head start, other fuels have some catching up to do.

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