(USA)

Energy giant ExxonMobil is working with an American university to speed up the process of producing biofuels.

It confirmed this week a two-year renewal of its partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). The pair announced they are collaborating to develop the most efficient methods for ‘converting biomass into transportation fuels’.

“The renewal of our agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison will continue ExxonMobil’s work with top universities and scientists to discover and advance next-generation energy solutions,” explained Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development for ExxonMobil Research & Engineering Company. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the university as we enhance our scientific understanding of advanced biofuels and explore potential new technologies.”

The university is a recognised leader in research relating to ‘biomass conversion’ and UW-Madison Professor of chemical and biological engineering, George Huber, is working alongside scientists from ExxonMobil on the project.

Professor Huber added: “Biofuels have the potential to become a significant option for meeting growing global demand for diesel and jet fuel if low cost and scalable technologies can be developed. The focus of this fundamental research is to demonstrate technologies that could make such a scenario possible. We expect to use the same type of catalytic technologies that are already used in the petrochemical industry to convert oil into fuels and chemicals.”