The search to turn bio waste and other products into fuel continues.

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $925,000 research grant to the Southern Research Institute  for a liquefaction process to turn biomass into refinery-ready bio-oils.

The project’s goal is to create bio-oils that can be blended in a petroleum refinery into gasoline and diesel products. 

“We hope the project will advance liquefaction by demonstrating cost-effective biomass conversion to stable bio-oils at mild conditions,” said Santosh Gangwai, the principal investigator for the project. “We will also evaluate the suitability and process economics of directly blending our bio-oils with refinery hydrotreater and cracker streams for co-production of diesel and gasoline.”

if successful, the project will enable refineries to meet new renewable fuel standards, Gangwai said.

However, Southern Research still needs a refinery partner for the project.

“Development and commercialization of a cost-effective biomass liquefaction process using a high impact feedstock such as wood waste to produce renewable gasoline and diesel can reduce the nation’s requirement for importing oil from foreign countries, help to stabilize the prices at the pump, and lower the emission of greenhouse gases” said Tim Hansen, director of Advanced Energy and Transportation Technologies.

Southern Research operates a facility in Durham and is based in Birmingham, Ala.