Biofuels company Gevo has been given a $5 million (€3.7 million) grant by the United States Department of Agriculture to develop bio-jet fuel from woody biomass and forest product residues.
The grant is part of the $40 million that has been given to the Northwest Advanced Renewables Alliance, a consortium led by Washington State University.
With the funding, Gevo plans to use woody biomass cellulosic feedstock to create petroleum substitutes such as isobutanol which can be used to fuel aeroplanes.
‘The airline industry and the United States Department of Defense are eagerly looking for near-term alternatives to petroleum-based jet fuel,’ says Gevo CEO Patrick Gruber. ‘Woody biomass has the potential to be a cost-effective and sustainable option for biorefineries. This project should help accelerate the commercial deployment of cellulosic biorefineries, grow the economy in rural America and contribute to home grown energy independence.’
Gevo is aiming for fuel certification by 2013 from the American Society for Testing and Materials for its bio-jet fuel. The company also recently announced plans to build a demonstration plant with South Hampton Resources to fabricate both bio-jet fuel and other hydrocarbons from the isobutanol.