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Virent and Virdia Produce New Fuel From Pine Sugars

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Apr 05, 2012 01:01 AM
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by Jennifer Shockley last modified Apr 03, 2012

Recently the BIRD Energy Project, founded jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure and the BIRD Foundation, has announced that the collaboration of two innovative companies, Virent and Virdia, are capable of creating a successful conversion of cellulosic pine tree sugars to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels.




 

 

Incredible steps are being taken in finding alternative options to the issues of our dependency on finite fossil fuels.

One organization that is dedicated to improving and stimulating the environment is the Israel – U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation that originated in 1977.

“The BIRD Foundation’s mission is to stimulate, promote and support industrial R&D of mutual benefit to the U.S. and Israel.”

Recently the BIRD Energy Project, founded jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure and the BIRD Foundation, has announced that the collaboration of two innovative companies, Virent and Virdia, are capable of creating a successful conversion of cellulosic pine tree sugars to drop-in hydrocarbon fuels.

This project started in 2011 and is a process of the two companies’ technologies. Virent’s BioForming process is to convert the fuel and Virdia’s deconstruction process generates high-quality sugars from cellulosic biomass. This combination allows for them to produce gasoline and jet fuel with the sugars obtained from pine.

The jet fuel has been sent to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for analysis. It passed all of the stringent tests that traditional jet fuel must pass and additional testing. Tim Edwards of the Fuels Branch of  AFRL said,

“This fuel passed the most stringent specification tests we could throw at it (such as thermal stability) under some conditions where conventional jet fuels would fail. This fuel is definitely worth further evaluation.”

Virdia uses its CASE (Cold Acid Solvent Extraction) Process which is a sequence of extraction and separation that converts water-soluble oxygenated hydrocarbons from biomass to non-oxygenated hydrocarbons that can be used in compounds for gasoline, jet fuels and diesel fuels.

This process has been demonstrated with conventional sugars obtained from corn, sugarcane, etc., but with the high-quality sugars from pine being able to be used as drop-ins easily substituted in the production of chemicals and high-concentrated forms for fuels the production will be much more beneficial to the industries.

Virent Bioforming Process

Virdia’s technologies have hardly any waste, a low environmental footprint and considerable reductions of greenhouse gases.

Virent’s BioForming process is energy efficient, water positive, produces low life-cycle carbon emissions and improves life-cycle emissions to fuel made from crude oil.

With the collaboration of both companies this new fuel made from pine sugars will be cost effective, renewable, domestically grown and will result in rural development, energy independence and economic security.

Resources: BIRD Foundation, Virdia, Virent and Business Wire



 

 

 
 
 

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