W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE:GRA) has been selected to receive up to $3.3 million from the U.S. Department of Energy for the evaluation and enhancement of advanced biofuel technologies.
Grace will work with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to develop technologies for thermochemical conversion of biomass to advanced biofuels that are compatible with existing fueling infrastructure. The technologies will upgrade bio-oils into gasoline, diesel and jet fuels using a specialized catalytic reactor designed to resist corrosion and extend catalyst lifetime. Also on the team are VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, who will be providing pyrolysis oils, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who will study corrosion.
The funding is a component of the Department of Energy’s strategy to accelerate the development of sustainable biofuels, and is coordinated by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Biomass Program.
Grace and PNNL researchers will use a thermochemical process known as pyrolysis, which breaks down biomass using heat to produce bio-oils that can be further processed in existing petroleum refineries into transportation fuels.
Susan Ehrlich, Business Director of Grace Renewable Technologies, commented, “We are excited to be selected for this funding and look forward to collaborating with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Our understanding of catalysts, combined with their pyrolysis and process development expertise, will position us to accelerate the commercialization of this new technology and production process.”
Ms. Ehrlich continued, “Pursuing and receiving this grant is validation of Grace’s strategy to grow the renewables business, explore open innovation with high-caliber researchers and become a global supplier to the biofuels industry.”