Chevron and Weyerhaeuser Create Biofuels Alliance
SAN RAMON, Calif., and FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) have announced they will jointly assess the feasibility of commercializing the production of biofuels from cellulose-based sources.
The companies will focus on researching and developing technology that can transform wood fiber and other nonfood sources of cellulose into economical, clean-burning biofuels for cars and trucks. Feedstock options include a wide range of materials from Weyerhaeuser’s existing forest and mill system and cellulosic crops planted on Weyerhaeuser’s managed forest plantations.
The two companies said the partnership reflects their shared view that cellulosic biofuels will fill an important role in diversifying the nation’s energy sources by providing a source of low-carbon transportation fuel. The venture leverages the strengths of both companies, combining Chevron’s technology capabilities in molecular conversion, product engineering, advanced fuel manufacturing and fuels distribution with Weyerhaeuser’s expertise in collection and transformation of cellulosics into engineered materials, innovative land stewardship, crop management, biomass conversion and capacity to deliver sustainable cellulose-based fiber at scale.
“Chevron is investing in cellulosic biofuels because we believe they will play a role in meeting future energy growth,” said Dave O’Reilly, chairman and CEO of Chevron. “This collaboration aligns with our long-term business strategy to accelerate the commercial development of nonfood based biofuels. While there are several research and technology hurdles that will need to be addressed before large-scale commercialization of cellulosic feedstocks occurs, we believe this partnership will accelerate the achievement of that reality. Both partners share the objective of sustainable commercialization of these fuels at industrial scale.”
“Weyerhaeuser takes ideas from the laboratory to the forest and mill to create innovative uses and value from our forest and land resources – in this case, a sustainable source of renewable energy for transportation,” said Steven R. Rogel, chairman, president and chief executive officer for Weyerhaeuser. “Crops created for and dedicated to fuel feedstocks offer the opportunity to augment value creation from our managed forest lands. We are pleased to partner with Chevron to combine the power of our forestlands, knowledge of cellulose technology and legacy of environmental stewardship with Chevron’s expertise in energy technology. Working together we can create new, sustainable sources of biofuel.”
Both Chevron and Weyerhaeuser already have separate research partnerships under way to accelerate the development of cellulosic biofuels. Chevron has forged alliances with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California at Davis, the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Weyerhaeuser is collaborating with several research universities, national laboratories and technology-based companies in research on conversion of forest products into ethanol and other biofuels.
Many states nationwide are seeking opportunities to diversify fuel sources with secure, renewable, low-carbon and environmentally sustainable alternatives. Ethanol produced from biomass such as forest and agricultural waste does not present a conflict with food supply sources such as corn and is considered greenhouse-gas neutral when derived from sustainable management practices.
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