CT Governor Unveils Energy Plan: Includes 20% Alternative Fuels Standard by 2020
Air Force Flight Test of Syntroleum Gas-to-Liquids Fuel Successful

Chevron and UC Davis to Pursue Joint Research Into Next-Generation Cellulosic Biofuels

Chevron Corporation and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) have formed a strategic research collaboration to pursue advanced technology aimed at converting cellulosic biomass into transportation fuels. The joint research effort will coordinate with the California Biomass Collaborative to focus on renewable feedstocks available in California, including agricultural waste such as rice straw.

Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, plans to support a broad range of UC Davis scientists and engineers with funding of up to $25 million over five years for research into and development of these emerging energy technologies.

The objective of the Chevron-UC Davis research is to develop commercially viable processes for the production of transportation fuels from renewable resources such as new energy crops, forest and agricultural residues, and municipal solid waste. The collaboration calls for research in biochemical and thermochemical conversion, as well as a demonstration facility to test the commercial readiness of these technologies.

We think it’s important to pursue research that could accelerate the use of biofuels since we believe they may play an integral role in diversifying the world’s energy sources. Developing next-generation processing technology will help broaden the choice of feedstocks, including cellulosic materials.

—Don Paul, vice president and chief technology officer, Chevron Corporation

The collaboration is expected to focus its research on four areas:

  1. Understanding the characteristics of current California biofuel feedstocks;

  2. Developing additional feedstocks optimized for features such as drought tolerance, minimal land requirements and harvesting technology;

  3. Production of cellulosic biofuels;

  4. Design and construction of a demonstration facility for biochemical and thermochemical production processes.

The alliance with UC Davis is the second biofuels research partnership launched by Chevron this year. In June, Chevron and the Georgia Institute of Technology formed a strategic research alliance focusing on cellulosic biofuels and hydrogen. (Earlier post.)

Chevron also is investing in conventional biofuels. Chevron has formed a biofuels business unit to advance technology and pursue commercial opportunities related to the production and distribution of biofuels in the United States. The company has invested in a new biodiesel facility in Galveston, Texas, that aims to produce diesel fuel from soybeans and other renewable feedstocks.



This is good news. UC Davis is near Sacramento where they have lots of rice straw that they used to just burn. Davis is also home to one of the hybrid car pioneers in the UC system. Dr. Andy Frank has been running a program there for quite a while.



If Chevron really wants to do something for Bio Fuels, they should build a few BioDiesel plants and starting blending all Diesel that they sell at the 2% rate.

That would show some true leadership. In fact, they could even buy BioDiesel from Independant sources and blend that.

Bio Diesel has had some quality issues in the past, but backing from a major oil company like Chevron would help bring BioDiesel into the mainstream. For me, it would get me to buy Chevron fuel again - for now, we buy Cennex as often as possible, as they are at least marketing BioDiesel 2% for thier off-road application, and many Cennex stations are starting to carry B20, B50 and B99

John Schreiber

Chevron is hedging the Prop 87 thing. Chevron is getting negative press for opposing it, however if prop 87 passes some of the funds will likely end up in Davis' pot further leveraging Chevron's investment. Likely any IP developed will benefit Chevron.

WaltD: amen, vote with the wallet.

The comments to this entry are closed.