Shell Steps up its Biofuels Research Commitments
Royal Dutch Shell has once again expanded its involvement in the biofuels arena by entering into new agreements with six international academic institutions that will dovetail with its own ongoing R&D efforts. The programs will focus on finding new materials and new production processes for various types of biofuels and working to fast-track their cost-effective commercialization. Partnering with Shell in these agreements -- which will run from two to five years -- are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Campinas in Sao Paolo, Brazil; the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China; the Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology in Qingdao, China; the Centre of Excellence for Biocatalysis, Biotransformations and Biocatalytic Manufacture at Manchester University in the UK; and the School of BioSciences Exeter University, also in the UK.
Shell is already well positioned in the biomass R&D fields, with three decades of hands-on internal research work and current dedicated biofuels development teams in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, India, and in Houston, Texas. In announcing these new agreements, Dr. Graeme Sweeney, Shell executive vice president future fuels and CO2 recognized the importance of accelerating the strides of this petroleum giant towards a more sustainable future: "Shell's in-house biofuels R&D is longstanding, leading and globally coordinated. However, we know that adding to our knowledge through genuine and nimble partnerships with top experts worldwide will be critical to speed and success in the fast-moving area of biofuels."