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    Chevron Partners with Texas A&M for Biofuels Development

    Efforts will focus on conversion of nonfood crops into renewable fuels.

    SAN RAMON, Calif. -- Chevron Corp. and the Texas A&M Agriculture and Engineering BioEnergy Alliance entered a strategic research partnership to facilitate the production and conversion of crops to produce ethanol and other biofuels from cellulose.

    As part of the initiative, Chevron Technology Ventures, a division of Chevron USA Inc., will support research initiatives over a four-year period through the Texas A&M BioEnergy Alliance. The partnership will combine the Texas A&M University system's two premier research agencies in agriculture and engineering -- the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES) and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES).

    "Chevron believes that biofuels will fill an important role in diversifying the nation's energy sources by providing a source of low-carbon transportation fuel," Don Paul, vice president and chief technology officer for Chevron, said in a written statement. "Bringing biofuels to large-scale commercial production is an enormous challenge that requires the combined efforts of industry, universities and research institutions, and governments. It is through partnerships like this that biofuels will be a viable part of meeting the energy challenges of tomorrow."

    The research will focus on technology advancements including the identification, assessment, cultivation, and optimization of production of second-generation energy feedstocks for cellulose and bio-oils with a focus on nonfood crops; characterizing and optimizing the design of dedicated bioenergy crops through genomic sciences and plant breeding; developing integrated logistics systems associated with the harvest, transport, storage and conversion of bioenergy crops, and developing advanced biofuels processing technologies.

    "The Texas A&M BioEnergy Alliance has a broad, holistic vision focused on developing practical, near-term solutions to bioenergy related problems, in addition to performing the necessary long-term fundamental research," said Dr. G. Kemble Bennett, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering. "Forming an alliance with Chevron fits well with our research initiatives and allows us to leverage our strengths in biomass and biofuels to transfer new technologies from lab to the public, providing real solutions that are economical, sustainable and environmentally friendly."

    In addition to the Texas A&M agreement, Chevron has formed research arrangements with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California -- Davis and the Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels.

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