ONAMI Gap Fund Company Wins New SBIR Award

September 01 2011

Corvallis, OR   Trillium FiberFuels Awarded Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Science Foundation to Develop Novel Enzyme for Cellulosic Ethanol Technology.

Trillium FiberFuels has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to further its work in developing innovative technologies for creating fuel-grade ethanol from straw and other biomass. This latest award to Trillium from the National Science Foundation supports additional development of a unique enzyme for production of cellulosic ethanol. The value of the award is $150,000 through the end of 2011 and qualifies Trillium to compete for a larger Phase II award in 2012.

Trillium is developing a commercially robust and readily scalable process technology to utilize xylose. Xylose constitutes roughly one third of the available sugar in biomass, so efficient utilization is essential to good process economics. However, xylose is not fermented to ethanol by typical yeast. Under this new grant, Trillium will develop a novel, naturally occurring enzyme to convert xylose into a sugar that is fermentable by brewing yeast. Chris Beatty, Trillium’s President, commented that the new award “builds on the feasibility work sponsored by the USDOE and will give us a cost-effective process for feedstocks such as straw from ryegrass and wheat. We are also appreciative of the pioneering work done by the lab of Dr. Stephen Giovannoni at Oregon State University where this microorganism was first isolated and genetically sequenced.”

Trillium FiberFuels, Inc. is an Oregon based corporation developing process technology for cellulosic ethanol production. Trillium was founded in 2006 and has received support from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI), Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center (BEST), U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For further information, contact Chris Beatty by phone at 541-990-0337. Website: www.trilliumfiberfuels.com.

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