ExxonMobil and Clariant team up on cellulosic biofuels

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Clariant has announced its partnership with ExxonMobil and Renewable Energy Group (REG) for a joint research agreement that will evaluate the potential use of cellulosic sugars from sources such as agricultural waste and residues to produce biofuel.

The partnership expands on ExxonMobile and REG’s previous joint research agreement that successfully validated the ability of REG Life Sciences bio-conversion technology to convert sugars from cellulosic biomass into biodiesel through a single-step process.

Member of Clariant's executive committee, Christian Kohlpaintner said, “We are committed to innovation and R&D, together with a focus on sustainability, as main pillars of Clariant’s strategy. Our sunliquid technology platform is a key outcome of this commitment. We are proud that two strong allies in the biofuels industry have selected Clariant as their partner and are excited to work with them on further leveraging this unique technology for converting cellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals, including biodiesel.”

Vice-president of research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, Vijay Swarup said, “Over the past three years, out work with REG has led to important advances in genetically improving REG’s proprietary microbes for beneficial use in facilitating the conversion of cellulosic sugars into biodiesel.”

Swarup continued, “Applying Clariant’s expertise and knowledge will help us better understand and advance a key stage in the overall cellulosic conversion process, and hopefully, lead to the development of scalable biodiesel technology.”

Vice-president of REG Life Sciences, Eric Bowen said, “ExxonMobil has been an exceptional partner in developing this promising technology. We are delighted to be able to add Clariant to the team with its market leading sunliquid technology. We believe we have assembled a dream team for conversion of cellulosic biomass to low carbon biofuels and are excited about the promise of this collaboration.”

The partnership also plans on working on a conceptual engineering study to validate the feasibility of the integrated process comprising the technologies of all parties.