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News

Collaboration to focus on next-generation production technologies for renewable fuels

DOE/National Renewable Energy Laboratory : 04 October, 2006  (Technical Article)
Chevron Corporation and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, headquartered in Golden, Colo., today announced a strategic research alliance to advance the development of renewable transportation fuels.
Chevron Technology Ventures LLC, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, and NREL have signed a five-year agreement to research and develop new production technologies for biofuels. 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.

'Our goal is to further diversify the world's energy sources in order to help meet the growth in future energy demand,' said Donald Paul, vice president and chief technology officer, Chevron Corporation. '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.'

NREL's participation in the alliance upholds the Department of Energy's mission to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States and to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission.

'Increasing the amount of fuels we can make from America's farms, forests and fields will greatly enhance the nation's energy security and economy and help the environment,' said NREL Director Dan Arvizu. 'Agreements such as this will help us accomplish that.'

CTV will also fund research which 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,' said Rick Zalesky, vice president of Biofuels and Hydrogen, CTV. 'This research will address both of these fundamental challenges.'

The alliance with NREL is the third biofuels research partnership launched by Chevron this year. Chevron recently announced research initiatives with the University of California, Davis and the Georgia Institute of Technology focusing on cellulosic biofuels enabled by advanced manufacturing technologies for distributed energy production.

Chevron is investing across the energy spectrum to develop energy sources for future generations by expanding the capabilities of today's alternative and renewable energy technologies. Since 2000, Chevron Corporation, through its various subsidiaries, has spent more than $1.5 billion on renewable energy projects and on delivering energy efficiency solutions. Focus areas include geothermal power, biofuels, hydrogen and advanced batteries as well as application of wind and solar technologies. Chevron is the largest renewable energy producer among global oil and gas companies, producing 1,152 megawatts of renewable energy primarily from geothermal operations.
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