Chevron Corporation and the Texas A&M Agriculture and Engineering BioEnergy Alliance (Texas A&M BioEnergy Alliance) recently announced a strategic research agreement to accelerate the production and conversion of crops for manufacturing ethanol and other biofuels from cellulose.
Cellulose is an energy-rich carbohydrate that is the main structural component of green plants, found in the stems, stalks and leaves. One of the primary technical and scientific challenges of making biofuels from cellulose involves designing a low cost method for releasing sugar from cellulose that is bound in the plant cell wall for fermentation into ethanol or other biofuels.
Areas of joint biofuels research:
- 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.
For instance, 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.
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. Between 2002 and 2006, Chevron spent roughly $2 billion on renewables and alternative energy and energy efficiency initiatives. Between 2007 and 2009, Chevron expects to spend more than $2.5 billion.
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