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Chevron pumps more money into university biofuel research

Texas A&M today became the latest university system to accept funding from a major oil company—prompting more concerns about big oil tainting or otherwise taking advantage of universities.

Chevron and the Texas A&M Agriculture and Engineering BioEnergy Alliance announced today that they have entered into a strategic research agreement to accelerate the production and conversion of crops for manufacturing ethanol and other biofuels from cellulose.
Chevron Technology Ventures is to support research initiatives over a four-year period through the Texas A&M BioEnergy Alliance, a formal partnership combining the collective strengths of The Texas A&M university system’s two research agencies in agriculture and engineering: the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES) and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

Neither Chevron nor Texas A&M would disclose to Inside Greentech the amount of the funding committed by Chevron, but the company has already invested dozens of millions of dollars in other U.S. universities.

The Texas A&M research initiatives are to focus on several technology advancements to produce biofuels, including:

Identifying, assessing, cultivating, and optimizing production of second-generation energy feedstocks for cellulose and bio-oils with a focus on non-food crops
Characterizing and optimizing the design of dedicated bioenergy crops through advances in genomic sciences and plant breeding
Developing integrated logistics systems associated with the harvest, transport, storage and conversion of bioenergy crops, and
Developing advanced biofuels processing technologies

Inside Greentech

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