International biofuel developer FuturaGene has partnered with the Guangxi Academy of Sciences (GXAS) in China to work on the development and optimisation of biofuel production from woody species, especially eucalyptus.
FuturaGene will supply feedstock from eucalyptus species which have been selected for optimal growth in the Guangxi region. The trees will undergo breeding and genetic enhancement to improve yield and stress tolerance. GXAS will develop methodologies for the early selection of tree species suitable for biofuel production and processes for the conversion of the raw material into fuel.
GXAS is a government research centre mainly focussed on the study of bioenergy and the development of non-food crops. The Guangxi province contains one million hectares of eucalyptus, the largest area of the species in China. The area was chosen by the government as a pilot province for bioenergy research with a particular focus on alternative or second generation feedstocks and production processes.
The two organisations will have the option to commercialise the outcomes of their study.
Stanley Hirsch, CEO of FuturaGene, said, ‘This is our fourth major agreement in China with key institutions and corporates. It is a further demonstration of our leading involvement in the development of sustainable industrial processes to support the use of woody crops in carbon neutral energy provision. GXAS, situated in an important forestry province, is a key institute, in the development of sustainable, non-food crop based biofuel processes in China. GXAS recognises that the enhancement technologies we have developed provide a breakthrough technology for cellulose-to-ethanol conversion. Together we aim to develop extensive wood-based raw material with advanced industrial process which can be used to reduce costs materially in the production of bioenergy.’
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