Chevron Corp, San Ramon CA, and the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have entered into a collaborative research and development agreement to study an advance technology to produce liquid transportation fuels using algae, according to Chevron information.
Chevron and the scientists will collaborate to identify and develop algae strains that can be economically harvested and processed into finished transportation fuels, such as jet fuel.
The research project is the second under a five-year strategic biofuels research alliance between Chevron and the laboratory that was announced in October 2006. The first involves bio-oil reforming, a process by which bio-oils derived from decomposition of biological feedstocks are then converted into hydrogen and biofuels.
Benefits of algae as a potential feedstock include their abundance and fast-growth rates. Key technical challenges include identifying the strains with the highest oil content and growth rates and developing cost-effective growing and harvesting methods.