“Biogasoline” Could Compete With Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

ShellShell and Virent Energy Systems of Wisconsin have announced a joint research and development effort to convert plant sugars directly into gasoline and gasoline blend components instead of ethanol.

VirentAccording to the companies, “the sugars can be sourced from non-food sources like corn stover, switch grass, wheat straw and sugarcane pulp, in addition to conventional biofuel feedstock like wheat, corn and sugarcane.”

Virent’s BioForming(TM) platform technology uses catalysts to convert plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules like those produced at a petroleum refinery. Traditionally, sugars have been fermented into ethanol and distilled. These new ‘biogasoline’ molecules have higher energy content than ethanol (or butanol) and deliver better fuel efficiency. They can be blended seamlessly to make conventional gasoline or combined with gasoline containing ethanol.

The companies have so far collaborated for one year on the research.

corn, Energy, Ethanol, News, Research