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Chevron and Weyerhauser to Partner on Cellulosic Biofuels

Chevron Corporation and Weyerhauser Company have signed a letter of intent (LOI) to jointly assess the feasibility of commercializing the production of biofuels from cellulose-based sources.

The companies will focus on researching and developing technology that can transform wood fiber and other nonfood sources of cellulose into biofuels for transportation. Feedstock options include a wide range of materials from Weyerhauser’s existing forest and mill system and cellulosic crops planted on Weyerhauser’s managed forest plantations.

The two companies said the partnership reflects their shared view that cellulosic biofuels will fill an important role by providing a source of low-carbon transportation fuel. The venture leverages the strengths of both companies, combining Chevron’s technology capabilities in molecular conversion, product engineering, advanced fuel manufacturing and fuels distribution with Weyerhauser’s expertise in collection and transformation of cellulosics into engineered materials, crop management, biomass conversion and capacity to deliver sustainable cellulose-based fiber at scale.

Chevron is investing in cellulosic biofuels because we believe they will play a role in meeting future energy growth. This collaboration aligns with our long-term business strategy to accelerate the commercial development of nonfood based biofuels. While there are several research and technology hurdles that will need to be addressed before large-scale commercialization of cellulosic feedstocks occurs, we believe this partnership will accelerate the achievement of that reality. Both partners share the objective of sustainable commercialization of these fuels at industrial scale.

—Dave O’Reilly, chairman and CEO of Chevron

Both Chevron and Weyerhauser already have separate research partnerships under way to accelerate the development of cellulosic biofuels. Chevron has alliances with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California at Davis, the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Weyerhauser is collaborating with several research universities, national laboratories and technology-based companies in research on conversion of forest products into ethanol and other biofuels.



With most of the world's remaining oil reserves owned by state oil companies or otherwise inaccessible to private firms, we're going to see more and more of this sort of thing. They do not want to go out of business, and that will necessitate a change to other forms of energy production. In the end, this is a good thing for both GHG emissions and energy security.


Agree. This is a good direction. Big oil should also lead in areas like plasma arc gasification of waste. The opportunity there is conversions of waste to liquid fuels AND electricity. Oil, to remain in play must find ways to transition cleanly to future energy. Waste --> V = $$.


Do two wrongs really make a right?

Big oil monopolies + Big timber monopolies = ?

seems analogous to corn ethanol...


Your right,cancel the research.

Harvey D.

There are and there will be dozens of partnerships to produce and operate waste gasification plants, cellulosic ethanol, cellulosic butanol and other biofuels.

Why not?

Bob Bastard

Ed, you are saying that big oil and big timber are intrinsically wrong? That their very existence is a sin and therefore, anything that they do is therefore wrong? That's an interesting outlook, but to me, this looks like a step in the right direction. Then again, if you refine your own fuel in your garage, and have a paper mill in your own basement, and do it all in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way than big oil and big timber, I certainly stand corrected. On the other hand, maybe you don't use paper or petroleum products?


One thing I would love to see is the U.S. using hybrids and cellulose biofuels and the Saudis sitting on oil that fewer people want..not likely to happen, but I can dream.

LT Brown

This is fine and dandy for fueling old technolov=gy engines. I have been pushing ideas for both of thse options, bio-fuels and new concept engines, since 1992 and have always met ignorance and arrogance from the corporate "biggies" when I was seeking funding. Now they want to claim it to be THEIR IDEA. Now it appears that we still have not got them to see realize they need to embrace the current spurned engine technologies for more efficient use and less emmissions. Go to and look at the CEM engine, or Axial Vector's engine.


The renewed interest in series hybrids that the Volt has brought about might just awaken interest in alternate power plants. Not all designs have the torque and power curves that match well with transmissions or even CVTs, but they run efficiently in a narrow mode. This is just what the series hybrid needs.


No Bob, what I'm saying is that maybe we should look the economical and ecological costs and benies. Perhaps this technology would create a market for the small thick timber in the urban-rural-forest interface that is such a fire risk. But perhaps this is just as unsustainable as corn ethanol. There are markets for forest "waste" already, pellets for stoves, and the combination of clearcutting and slash removal (for fuel conversion) may not improve forest health. Whatever the case, this is niche technology at best, Pac Northwest may be the only viable region for it. And yes I use paper and petrol, what does that have to do with anything? Not everyone is radical dude!

Paul Dietz

No Bob, what I'm saying is that maybe we should look the economical and ecological costs and benies.

No, what you're doing is substituting vacuous scare words (oil monopolies? gee, what fraction of the global oil market does that company have? 'Monopoly' is not a synonym for 'big'.) for actual critical thought. But I'm sure it makes you feel like you're being insightful, and that's what matters, right?


It's not insight, it's simple observation. What has Chevron done with their battery patents? What has Weyerhauser done to it's land and rural communities? Want some real vacuous words? Have a look at Chevron's magazine adds, insight is not sucking in whatever comes down the tube Paul. What fuels I use, what I write on, and how I feel don't have anything to do with the FACT that these two companies have no track record of "sustainable commercialization" of anything. Instead of attcking me perhaps you could refute my arguements...


I thought it was telling that this heading includes the words "cellulosic biofuels" and not that other term ("cellulosic ethanol") that the braindeads in Washington DC like to pronounce like it's the silver bullet that will magically fix everything.


Currently we are moving to new dedicated server where we are going to provide wide, interactive platform for energy, and climate issues enthusiasts and professionals. We are going to start as of 01.Junne 2007. You are all wellcome to live your comments, write articles, or simply pass by.

Cheryl Ho

There are DME developments in China today:
DME is an LPG-like synthetic fuel can be produced through gasification of Biomass. The synthetic gas is then catalyzed to produce DME. A gas under normal pressure and temperature, DME can be compressed into a liquid and used as an alternative to diesel. Its low emissions make it relatively environmentally friendly. In fact, Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and will be sharing their experience at upcoming North Asia DME / Methanol conference in Beijing, 27-28 June 2007, St Regis Hotel. The conference covers key areas which include:

DME productivity can be much higher especially if
country energy policies makes an effort comparable to
that invested in increasing supply.
National Development Reform Commission NDRC
Ministry of Energy for Mongolia

Production of DME/ Methanol through biomass
gasification could potentially be commercialized
Shandong University completed Pilot plant in Jinan and
will be sharing their experience.

Advances in conversion technologies are readily
available and offer exciting potential of DME as a
chemical feedstock
By: Kogas, Lurgi and Haldor Topsoe

Available project finance supports the investments
that DME/ Methanol can play a large energy supply role
By: International Finance Corporation

For more information:


If you want to see an engine that runs on any fuel (including hydrogen)check out I would love to have one in an F-250. It is also lighter , more efficent , quiet and green.

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