Chevron Corporation and the Texas A&M Agriculture and Engineering BioEnergy Alliance (Texas A&M BioEnergy Alliance) announced today that they have entered into a strategic research agreement to accelerate the production and conversion of crops for manufacturing ethanol and other biofuels from cellulose.
Chevron Technology Ventures, a division of Chevron USA, Inc., will support research initiatives over a four-year period through the Texas A&M BioEnergy Alliance, formed by the Texas A&M University System and two of its premier research agencies: the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES) and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).
The research initiatives will focus on several technology advancements to produce biofuels including, but not limited to:
- Identifying, assessing, cultivating, and optimizing production of second-generation energy feedstocks for cellulose and bio-oils with a focus on non-food crops;
Characterizing and optimizing the design of dedicated bioenergy crops through advances in genomic sciences and plant breeding;
Developing integrated logistics systems associated with the harvest, transport, storage and conversion of bioenergy crops; and
Developing advanced biofuels processing technologies.
Texas A&M BioEnergy Alliance partners in agriculture have developed exceptional high-yield cellulosic energy crops that can produce significantly more biomass per acre than most alternatives.
The development of biofuels from agricultural feedstocks requires a regional approach and research into many alternatives for the long-term energy needs of our country. We have been able to capitalize on decades of existing research into sorghum, sugarcane, forage and oil-based cropping systems, which should provide us with premier, dedicated feedstocks for biofuels and renewable energy that are sustainable within existing agricultural production systems.—Dr. Elsa Murano, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Agriculture and Life Sciences
Chevron formed a biofuels business unit in May 2006 to advance technology and pursue commercial opportunities related to the production and distribution of ethanol and biodiesel in the United States. Its research and development (R&D) activities in biofuels are currently structured around a research initiative with Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest integrated forest products companies; a major alliance with US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); and a portfolio of four regionally focused university programs.
In addition to the Texas A&M agreement, Chevron’s biofuels business unit has formed research arrangements with the Georgia Institute of Technology; the University of California, Davis; and the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, which is a consortium of NREL, three major Colorado universities and other private companies.