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October 4, 2007


ConocoPhillips, ADM Strike Biofuels Deal

Partnership aims to develop renewable transportation fuels from biomass

Glenn Hess

ConocoPhillips and Archer Daniels Midland have agreed to collaborate on research aimed at developing biocrude, a nonpetroleum substance derived from agricultural waste and forestry products that can be processed into transportation fuels.

ADM, a major grain processor and the biggest U.S. ethanol producer, will provide biomass from crops, wood, or switchgrass. ConocoPhillips, the nation's third-largest oil company, will convert the materials into biocrude, which will then be refined into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

The companies have each committed $5 million to the initial research on developing biocrude. The project is expected to last five years. Research will be conducted at ADM, ConocoPhillips, and universities.

"ConocoPhillips believes that the development of next-generation biofuels is a critical step in the diversification of our nation's energy sources," says James J. Mulva, CEO of the Houston-based company. "We are hopeful that this collaboration will provide innovative technology toward the large-scale production of biofuels that can be moved efficiently and affordably through existing infrastructure."

"Innovative collaboration like this will identify and bring to market feasible, economic, and sustainable next-generation biofuels," adds ADM's CEO Patricia A. Woertz.

The partnership reflects a growing trend in which companies in the energy industry, often with government support, are actively exploring the development of renewable resources rather than relying solely on fossil fuels.

In April, for example, ConocoPhillips said it would establish an eight-year, $22.5 million research program at Iowa State University to develop technologies to create renewable biofuels (C&EN, April 16, page 24). Other oil companies are funding similar research ventures at other universities.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society

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