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Shell announces six new biofuels research agreements


Royal Dutch Shell plc (“Shell”) today highlighted its approach to biofuels innovation, announcing six new research agreements with experts in academic institutions across the world. They are part of a growing programme of agreements designed to complement Shell’s own biofuels research and development, and to accelerate results.

The research programme investigates new raw materials and new biofuels production processes, with a focus on improving efficiencies and lowering costs. The research agreements will last between two and five years. They are with:

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Massachusetts, US; the University of Campinas (Unicamp), Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS), Beijing, China; the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (QIBEBT), Qingdao, China; the Centre of Excellence for Biocatalysis, Biotransformations and Biocatalytic Manufacture (CoEBio3) based at Manchester University, UK; and the School of BioSciences Exeter University, UK.

This announcement builds on Shell’s long heritage in biomass R&D, with continuous investment over thirty years. The dedicated biofuels research and technology team now works out of centres in: Thornton in Chester, UK; Westhollow in Houston, US; Amsterdam, Netherlands; and Bangalore, India.

Dr. Graeme Sweeney, Shell Executive Vice President Future Fuels and CO2 said, “Shell’s in-house biofuels R&D is longstanding, leading and globally coordinated. However, we know that adding to our knowledge through genuine and nimble partnerships with top experts worldwide will be critical to speed and success in the fast-moving area of biofuels. We have been working with some partners for a good while already but are delighted to announce these six collaborations today. We welcome both the injection of expertise and enthusiasm.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Professor Nick Turner, Director of CoEBio3 observed, “White biotechnology has traditionally been the preserve of the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries but is poised to expand dramatically over the next few years. CoEBio3 is extremely excited at the prospect of working with Shell in this innovative programme to further existing techniques in the field and develop new, ground-breaking technology.”

The research agreements announced today also complement Shell’s partnerships with five companies working on commercial application of new biofuels technologies. Taken together, all of these collaborations support Shell’s drive to develop sustainable biofuels to help address the world’s need for more energy and less CO2.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 110 countries and territories, with businesses including: oil and gas exploration; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals; and renewable energy projects including wind, solar and biofuels.

Notes to editors

* Royal Dutch Shell plc is working to meet government mandates for biofuel and, with its experience, expertise and assets, has become the world’s largest distributor of biofuels. The company is working with biofuel manufacturers to secure cost-effective supply and press for social and environmental safeguards. A constraint on the potential of conventional biofuels is that they use food crops. Shell is a leader in the development of next generation biofuels, using non-food bio materials, alternative processes and high performance fuels.
* Shell’s global biofuels programme also includes collaborations with Choren (on production on BTL), Codexis (on enzyme conversion) and Virent (on development of biogasoline), as well as a joint venture called Cellana (development of marine algae for vegetable oil).


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