Chevron Corp. and Weyerhaeuser Co. announced Thursday the creation of an alliance to assess the feasibility of commercializing the production of biofuels from cellulose-based sources.
The companies will collaborate on researching and developing technology that can transform wood fiber and other nonfood sources of cellulose into economical, clean-burning biofuels for cars and trucks. Feedstock options include materials from Weyerhaeuser's existing forest and mill system and cellulosic crops planted on Weyerhaeuser's managed forest plantations.
According to the two companies, the partnership reflects their shared view that cellulosic biofuels can play an important role in diversifying energy sources in the U.S. by providing a source of low-carbon transportation fuel.
The venture leverages the strengths of both companies, combining Chevron's technology capabilities in molecular conversion, product engineering, advanced fuel manufacturing and fuels distribution with Weyerhaeuser's expertise in collection and transformation of cellulosics into engineered materials, innovative land stewardship, crop management, biomass conversion and capacity to deliver sustainable cellulose-based fiber at scale.
Both companies are currently involved in separate research partnerships to accelerate the development of cellulosic biofuels.
Chevron has alliances with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California at Davis, the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels, and the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Weyerhaeuser is collaborating with several research universities, national laboratories and technology-based companies in research on conversion of forest products into ethanol and other biofuels.
Chevron, an energy company based in San Ramon, Calif., has more than 56,000 employees in 180 countries.
Weyerhaeuser, a forest products company headquartered in Federal Way, Wash., has offices or operations in 18 countries, and had sales of $21.9 billion in 2006.