Virent Receives Largest DOE Award For Jet Fuel Development

By Chemical Processing Staff

Jun 23, 2011

Virent will receive up to $13.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to employ its catalytic process in the conversion of corn stover to jet fuel, the company said.

The award is Virent’s largest ever and part of $36 million that the Energy Department is using to fund projects aimed at improving the economics and efficiency of biological and chemical processes that convert nonfood biomass feedstocks into replacements for petroleum-based feedstocks, products and fuels.

Virent applied for the award in February. In early June, the company announced it was the first company to create gasoline from both corn stover and pine residuals.

In this project, Virent’s catalytic conversion technology, known as BioForming, will be integrated with the biomass deconstruction technologies of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the purification technologies of the Argonne National Laboratories and advanced computational modeling of Northwestern University.

Like Virent’s other fuels and chemicals, the jet fuel generated in this three-year project will be “dropin,” meaning it can be blended seamlessly into other jet fuels at high concentrations. The company’s process creates industry-ready molecules that can utilize existing refineries, pipelines, tanks, trucks, stations and pumps, safely powering the engines of cars, trucks, motorcycles and watercraft and eventually aircraft.

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