Researchers at ExxonMobil and Renewable Energy Group have demonstrated the ability to convert sugars from a variety of non-edible biomass sources into biodiesel.
During initial research, the companies were able to demonstrate the feasibility of the REG Life Sciences one-step fermentation process. The research also confirmed the technology is capable of achieving substantial reductions of greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional diesel fuel.
A breakthrough in cellulosic biodiesel production could have broad implications for the transportation sector. Global demand for transportation-related energy is projected to increase by about 25 percent through 2040. Reducing emissions from the transportation sector through technologies like biodiesel can play a critical role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.
The two companies had signed an agreement in 2016 to study the production of biodiesel through fermentation of renewable cellulosic sugars from agricultural waste and other sources. They will now extend the research program based on their positive findings.
“ExxonMobil has been a great partner and we are proud of what we have accomplished to date,” said Eric Bowen, vice president of REG Life Sciences. “We are excited to take these discoveries to the next level. We believe our REG Life Sciences technology holds great potential as an innovation platform across multiple industries and can think of no partner better than ExxonMobil to help us realize that potential in fuels.”