Shell and codexis see 2nd generation biofuels in five years

Shell is taking a seat on Codexis’ board and making a capital investment into the biofuels technology company as the firms announced their research collaboration is being extended by five years, according to a report on ICIS news.

(Disclosure I work for ICIS: About ICIS)

At the end of that time the firms hope to have developed a process to generate biofuels from cellulosic or other non-food sources, but Shell warned that it could be five to 10 years before they are available in commercial quantities.

We know that Shell is interested in biofuels, they also have a tie up with Iogen, which received part of a US Department of energy grant of $385m into cellulose ethanol earlier in the year. I had a day out with Shell which outlined some of its biofuel bets last November. At that time Shell didn’t feel able to talk about the Codexis association, which was initially agreed close to the meeting.

That aside, one of the key messages from that for me came from Paul Snaith, vice president downstream marketing, Shell Global Solutions. He says biofuel should only be used if they

1 Make Economic sense

2 Are socially and ecologically sustainable

3 Are technologically sound.

Shell also has a policy of making capital investments into companies when they have at least two directors who understand the technology…

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