ZeaChem receives a part of $40 million grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

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ZeaChem receives a part of $40 million grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture

By Greentech Lead Team: ZeaChem, a developer of biorefineries
for converting renewable biomass into sustainable fuels and chemicals, has
received a part of a $40 million grant from USDA’s National Institute of Food
and Agriculture (NIFA).

The USDA project will set up regional systems for
sustainable production of bioenergy and bio-based products. ZeaChem will
receive $12 million of the total $40 million grant.

It will implement the AFRI project at its existing
250,000 gallon-per-year (GPY) integrated demonstration biorefinery, located at
the Port of Morrow, near Boardman, Ore.

ZeaChem’s will lead USDA AFRI Regional CAP’s R&D and
demonstration trials for production of drop-in transportation fuels, including
bio-based jet and diesel fuels and bio-based gasoline.

“The grant allows ZeaChem to use our existing integrated
demonstration facility to develop advanced biofuels beyond cellulosic ethanol,
including bio-based jet, diesel and gasoline. The project highlights one of our
unique strengths, which is that we can utilize a variety of biomass feedstocks
and proven processes to develop a wide range of economical and sustainable fuel
and chemical products,” said Jim Imbler, president and chief executive
officer of ZeaChem.  

ZeaChem is creating
integrated cellulosic biorefineries, capable of producing a broad portfolio of
fuel and chemical products from renewable biomass. Bio-based jet and diesel are
an extension of the company’s C2 product platform, which is currently being
deployed at the integrated demonstration biorefinery and already includes
intermediate chemicals acetic acid and ethyl acetate, and cellulosic ethanol.

The USDA AFRI Regional CAP is led by the University of
Washington and includes GreenWood Resources, Oregon State University,
Washington State University, the University of California, Davis, University of
Idaho, and the Agricultural Center for Excellence.

Design of the AFRI project is underway and the equipment
modules are expected to be installed in 2013. Production of bio-based jet and
diesel is expected to begin in 2013 and production of bio-based gasoline, part
of the C3 product platform, will follow in 2015.

Recently, ZeaChem completed 
construction of the core facility for its new integrated demonstration
biorefinery in Boardman, Oregon.

[email protected]

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