Chevron makes strides with biofuels in Texas

Two pieces of news from Chevron today. First, Chevron Corporation and the Texas A&M Agriculture and Engineering BioEnergy Alliance have initiated a "strategic research agreement" to accelerate the production of biofuels from cellulose to the consumer. These groups thereby enters into a four-year partnership that will endeavor to:
  • identify appropriate non-food crops to cultivate for the production of bio-oils and cellulose,
  • optimize the genetic design of said crops through genomic study and breeding,
  • develop viable means of harvesting, storing, converting and distributing these bioenergy crops,
  • and develop appropriate processing techniques.
Between this year and 2009, Chevron expects to spend $2.5 billion on this massive R&D project. Read the wordy press release here.

Also contributing toward that end, Chevron and BioSelect unveiled a fully operational biodiesel production facility in Galveston, TX. The plant will start off producing 20 million gallons of biodiesel per year, and has the projected capacity of 110 million gallons per year. It won't stop there, as Chevron plans on expanding its biodiesel production to other facilities and thereby producing up to 470 million gallons per year by 2010. Interestingly, there are already 700 retail sources for biodiesel in the U.S. because it can be sent out through the existing distribution system. Little or no modifications need be made to convert most diesel engines to run on B20. Other benefits include better lubrication then petroleum-based diesel, extending engine life. That's certainly a step in the right direction.

[Source: Chevron]

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