Exxon Mobil Corporation, the American oil and gas giant and Renewable Energy Group, the advanced biofuel maker had joined hands to explore REG’s potential to explore its bio-conversion technology that can convert cellulosic biomass sugars into biodiesel. This association was recently updated by entry of Clariant, another chemical giant in a joint research agreement to use and test cellulosic sugar generated from Clariants sunliquid process.
ExxonMobil and REG have spent last three years genetically improvising on REG’s proprietary microbes that assist the process of conversion of cellulosic sugars into biodiesel. Clariant’s entry has given new hopes and goals to this developing technology. The kind of knowledge and expertise Clariant carries will definitely give a boost for developing a scalable biodiesel technology. Clariant patented sunliquid process is technologically and economically innovative and easily converts agricultural residue in biofuel. Biofuel, especially biodiesel market is rapidly growing and expected to cross USD 50 billion by 2025.
Sunliquid features chemical-free pretreatment, the integrated production of feedstock and process-specific enzymes which produces fermentable C5 and C6 sugars. Clariant will conduct trials at its pre-commercial plant in Straubing, Germany using different types of cellulosic feedstock that will be converted into sugars for conversion by REG and ExxonMobil into high-quality, low-carbon biodiesel.
Christian Kohlpaintner, member of Clariant’s executive committee stated that they are committed to innovation and R&D, together with a focus on sustainability, as main pillars of Clariant’s strategy. Sunliquid technology platform is a key outcome of this commitment. Christian Kohlpaintner also expressed his gratitude towards ExxonMobil and REG saying that they are proud that two strong allies in the biofuels industry have selected Clariant as their partner and are excited to work with them on further leveraging this unique technology for converting cellulosic biomass to fuels and chemicals, including biodiesel.