Virent’s Successful Conversion of Cellulosic Biomass Selected for Continued DOE Funding

Virent Solidifying Catalytic Pathway with Multiple Cellulosics-to-Fuels Endeavors Underway

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Madison, Wisconsin – August 16, 2011 – Virent has been selected to advance to Stage Two of the National Advanced Biofuels Consortium’s (NABC) cellulosic biomass feedstock-to-biofuels program. With $35 million of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the NABC investigated multiple process strategies with potential to convert corn stover or wood chips into “drop-in” liquid fuels that can be used in the existing transportation and distribution infrastructure. Virent successfully created gasoline from both corn stover and wood chips during Stage One of the NABC program. At the end of the three-year project, Virent expects to deliver a technology package that includes a pilot plant-ready process, a detailed design and engineering report, and a life-cycle analysis.

“Virent has been making gasoline from plant sugars since 2006,” explains Chief Technology Officer Dr. Randy Cortright. “What makes this a significant accomplishment, is that we are demonstrating the commercial viability of our technology with a wide variety of cellulosic materials. Our technology is feedstock flexible, and it’s been gratifying to demonstrate this with the NABC.” Virent has other projects underway involving conversion of cellulosic biomass, most notable is its recent multi-million dollar award from the DOE to support conversion of corn stover to jet fuel.

About Virent

Virent is replacing crude oil by creating the chemicals and fuels the world demands using a wide range of naturally-occurring, renewable resources. Their patented technology features catalytic chemistry to convert plant-based sugars into a full range of products identical to those made from petroleum, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemicals for plastics and fibers. The products are “drop-in” replacements that enable full utilization of existing logistics infrastructure without blending limitations. The development of Virent’s BioForming® technology platform is supported through strategic investors including Cargill, Shell and Honda, as well as 115 employees based in Madison, Wisconsin. Virent’s premium gasoline is blended by Shell into the fuel used by the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team. The company has received several grants from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Energy and Agriculture and has been recognized with many honors, including the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer award and the EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. Please learn more at

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Kelly Morgan
Marketing Manager, Virent
3571 Anderson St.
Madison, WI 53704