LEBANON, NH --- Mascoma Corp. on Sept. 14 said it has entered into a feedstock processing and lignin supply agreement with Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
Under terms of the agreement, CTV will provide various sources of lignocellulosic feedstock to Mascoma. Mascoma will then convert the feedstock to cellulosic ethanol through its proprietary process, which produces lignin as a byproduct. Mascoma will provide this lignin to CTV for evaluation.
"This is an important moment for us at Mascoma," said Dr. Jim Flatt, president of
Mascoma. "The upgrading of our byproduct lignin to high-value transportation fuels is an important step in our effort to prove the effectiveness of integrated biorefineries. It has been our goal all along to make our process as integrated and sustainable as possible."
Lignin is a complex chemical compound derived from woody biomass. After biomass has been converted through Mascoma's "consolidated bio-processing method," which breaks down the sugars in the cellulose and turns it into ethanol, energy-rich lignin is left over.
The project will last for two years, and Mascoma said it is hopeful that the developed technology may be suitable for a wide variety of feedstocks.
In December 2008, Mascoma began creating ethanol from cellulosic biomass with positive results at its demonstration facility in Rome, N.Y. The company, in collaboration with its commercialization subsidiary Frontier Renewable Resources, is in the process of financing its first full-scale ethanol facility in Kinross, Mich. The company plans to break ground on that facility during the first half of 2010.