14 December 2012 18:33 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will partner with Johnson Matthey to develop new catalysts for producing biofuels, officials said on Friday.
In a five-year programme valued $7.0m (€5.3m), the UK-based specialty chemicals and catalysts firm will work with the NREL to find catalytic systems that can produce biofuels cost-effectively, they said.
Specifically, the partners will work on ways to improve vapour-phase upgrading during the biomass pyrolysis process in order to lower costs and speed up production of lignocellulose-based fuels. The vapour produced from the pyrolysis of biomass can be used to make transportation fuel.
The programme will focus on non-food derived feedstocks, such as pine trees, switch grass, forest and agriculture residue, as well as municipal solid waste.
“It’s a way of leveraging the expertise of two organisations to solve a pressing national and international problem,” said Rich Rollin, NREL senior project leader for partnership development.
As part of the partnership, Johnson Matthey will supply and develop innovative new catalytic materials to upgrade pyrolysis vapour to biofuel components.
Last month, the UK chemicals firm was granted a loan from the European Investment Bank to support research and development into reducing harmful emissions from transport and industry.
($1 = €0.76)
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