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New partnership to delve into efficient biofuels from non-food biomass

A new $7 million (€5.3 million), five year biofuels collaboration has been signed this month.

International chemical company Johnson Matthey will work with the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at producing economical drop-in gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from non-food based biomass.

‘It’s a way of leveraging the expertise of two organisations to solve a pressing national and international problem,” says NREL senior project leader for partnership development Rich Bolin.

Johnson Matthey has environmental and chemical facilities in over 30 countries and will develop and supply new catalytic materials to upgrade pyrolysis vapour to biofuels components.

‘The best outcome would be, in five years, to have a new catalytic process which can make gasoline, diesel and jet fuel at a price range that is better than, or competitive with, the cost of existing fuels,’ adds Mark Nimlos, NREL research supervisor for molecular sciences.