Mascoma launches partnership with Chevron unit

Mascoma Corp. of Lebanon, N.H., has entered into an agreement with Chevron Technology Ventures, a division of Chevron USA Inc.

Under the deal, Mascoma will process cellulosic feedstock from Chevron Technology, converting it to ethanol and lignin, an energy-rich byproduct derived from woody biomass. Chevron Technology will, in turn, convert the lignin into petroleum-replacement biofuels for transportation, said Mascoma officials in an announcement.

“This is an important moment for us at Mascoma,” said Dr. Jim Flatt, president of Mascoma. “The upgrading of our byproduct lignin to high-value transportation fuels is an important step in our effort to prove the effectiveness of integrated biorefineries. It has been our goal all along to make our process as integrated and sustainable as possible.”

The project will last for two years, said Mascoma.

In December 2008, Mascoma began creating ethanol from cellulosic biomass with positive results at its demonstration facility in Rome, N.Y.

The company, in collaboration with its commercialization subsidiary, Frontier Renewable Resources, is in the process of financing its first full-scale ethanol facility in Kinross, Mich. The company plans to break ground on that facility during the first half of 2010. — CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW