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The U.S. Department of Energy is making a $9 million investment in a joint Israeli-American venture to develop alternative fuels.
Israel’s HCL Cleantech is joining forces with the American biofuels startup LS9 will use cellulosic feedstocks to produce alternative fuels.
HCL Cleantech uses technology developed by Nazis in Germany to produce sugars from nonfood organic sources, mainly acidic cellulosic sources, Haaretz reported.
The grant is the second U.S. government award that HCL Cleantech has received this year. In January HCL Cleantech and its American partner, Wisconsin-based Virent Energy Systems Inc. received a $900,000 grant from BIRD Energy, a program for U.S.-Israel joint renewable energy development funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures, and the BIRD Foundation.
The project combines HCL CleanTech’s proprietary lignocellulosic conversion technology for producing non-food sugars with Virent’s BioForming technology to subsequently convert plant sugars into hydrocarbon molecules like those now refined from petroleum.
Virent CEO Lee Edwards said, “Economically converting plentiful cellulosic biomass into renewable, fungible hydrocarbon fuels and products will enable broad market acceptance and is the most realistic alternative to displace petroleum and create a clean energy transportation sector in the coming years. Virent has proven it can transform cellulosic, non-food sugars into environmentally superior hydrocarbon fuels with the same energy content and performance as petroleum fuels. Utilizing HCL CleanTech’s cost-effective biomass hydrolysis technology to provide inexpensive cellulosic sugar feedstocks may be a key component of a complete and sustainable biofuels solution.”
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com