It’s almost been a year since Virent Energy partnered up with Shell to advance their biogasoline synthesis technology, known as bioforming.
I’ve been curious about their progress, and recently listened to a lecture given at the University of Wisconsin-Madison by Virent researcher Paul Blommel on the bioforming process.
During bioforming, sugars and polymers are rearranged into alkanes (biogasoline) that can be used for fuel in combustion engines. The gasoline produced is of a higher volatility and better production efficiency than corn ethanol.
Virent is still in the developmental stages of gasoline production. Their patented aqueous phase reforming (APR) technology and BioForming process is currently producing a liter per day of pure gasoline from plant material. For now they are mainly using simple sugars found in plants, but plan to tap into the more woody lignocellulose too.
After the lecture, I had a chance to talk with Blommel in depth. Read more of that conversation after the jump.