Athens, Ga. An innovative process for turning waste biomass such as dead trees, agricultural waste and lumber byproducts into a liquid fuel to power conventional engines has been licensed by the University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. to Tolero Energy, LLC, a private biofuels company based in Sacramento, Calif. The technology represents a leap forward for the biofuels industry: the ultra-low-sulfur biofuel does not require additional refinement or processing before blending with biodiesel and petroleum diesel.
The exclusive license provides Tolero Energy global rights to the technology, including the right to grant sublicenses.
Tolero CEO Chris Churchill said the company will focus on the transportation fuels market as it completes development of the UGARF bio-oil technology. He expects to make product based on the technology available in the first half of 2010.
Lead inventor of the technology is Tom Adams, a retired member of the University of Georgia Faculty of Engineering. Co-inventors are John Goodrum, Manuel Garcia-Perez, Dan Geller and Joshua Pendergrass all presently or previously associated with the UGA Faculty of Engineering.
"Fuel produced through this efficient technology, which uses dead biomass as the starting material, holds the promise of being highly economical, carbon-negative and environmentally acceptable," said Adams, now an engineering consultant.
Tolero will use this low-cost, on-site process to turn non-food, waste biomass into sustainable and renewable forms of energy and industrial products. The biomass is heated at carefully controlled high temperatures in the absence of oxygen, a process known as fast pyrolysis. The vapors produced during pyrolysis rapidly condense into a bio-oil that can be added to biodiesel or petroleum diesel. Other pyrolysis by-products are gas and bio-char, which can be used as a soil amendment.
Dead trees are one of the major sources of waste biomass for To
|Contact: Terry Marie Hastings|
University of Georgia