ZeaChem Inc., a developer of biorefineries for the conversion of renewable biomass into fuels and chemicals, announced it has been selected for a $25m grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The award comes from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Biomass Program, and is funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA).
In an official statement, Jim Imbler, president and chief executive officer of the company, was reported as saying: “This award accelerates deployment of ZeaChem’s integrated biorefinery and our progress to commercial production of advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals. We look forward to working with DOE to finalize the award agreement”.
The grant will be used in conjunction with ZeaChem’s existing investment to support construction of the company’s first cellulosic biorefinery which will have capacity of 250,000 gallons per year (GPY) and is proposed to be built in Boardman, Oregon.
The company recently announced that construction is underway on the biorefinery. The core technology, which will produce the bio-based chemical ethyl acetate, will be online by the end of 2010.
The grant will be used to construct and integrate additional process components to the ZeaChem core, enabling the production of cellulosic ethanol. Upon successful operations at the 250,000 GPY biorefinery, the company intends to scale to a commercial biorefinery.
Incorporated in 2002, ZeaChem is headquartered in Lakewood, Colo. and operates a research and development laboratory facility in Menlo Park, Calif.