SBIR Phase I: Advanced Biomass to Alcohols Process

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0912365
Agency Tracking Number: 0912365
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: BC
Solitcitation Number: NSF 08-548
Small Business Information
Exelus, Inc.
99 DORSA AVE, Livingston, NJ, 07039
Duns: 112437384
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mitrajit Mukherjee
 (973) 740-2350
Business Contact
 Mitrajit Mukherjee
Title: MS
Phone: (973) 740-2350
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project seeks to develop a breakthrough chemical process to convert cellulosic biomass into alcohols that can be easily blended into gasoline. This project addresses the urgent need for biomass conversion technologies that can efficiently produce motor fuels compatible with existing engines and infrastructure. This project responds to the NSF-stated desire to develop new biomass conversion and biorefinery improvement technologies, and in particular to the problem of selectively deconstructing biomass and converting it into useful materials. Biomass is converted into gasoline-range alcohols suitable for use as a motor fuel additive or substitute. The key innovations in this technology are a unique reaction scheme combining three steps to depolymerize and stabilize biomass, and then to selectively convert it to useful alcohols using a new heterogeneous catalyst with combined acid/base functionalities. If successful, this technology would provide a renewable source of motor fuel to begin to offset the 390 million gallons of gasoline consumed in the US each day. This SBIR Phase I project offers significantly better performance than other proposed biomass conversion technologies. Specifically, no acidic waste is produced, byproducts are minimized, and all of the carbon contained in the feed is preserved in the desired fuel products. This technology could form the basis of the first economically viable biorefineries. Many oil companies, as well as private investor groups have expressed interest in being the first to market with this type of next-generation biorefinery, but they lack cost-effective technology. This advanced biomass-to-gasoline process can be that enabling technology, offering clean, renewable motor fuels from non-food waste biomass, zero net carbon emissions, and the ability to reduce the US dependence on imported oil. This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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