Biomass Gas & Electric, USC form partnership

By Anna Austin
Web exclusive posted July 16, 2008 at 2:46 p.m. CST

Biomass Gas & Electric LLC announced July 8 it has formed a Biomass Fuels Division to commercialize a patented micropropagation technology for use with a wide range of perennial grasses used as feedstock which was developed by scientists at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.

The program research at USC is being conducted by Professor Laszlo Marton, Ph.D, and Dr. Mihaly Czako, Ph.D. BG&E said the project's goal is to further the selection and breeding of perennials for feedstocks that will achieve greater yields and improve various other traits necessary for bioenergy, biofuels and bioremediation.

"This is a must in order to provide feedstock for our large commercial bioenergy products," said Glenn Farris, CEO of BG&E. "The agreement gives BG&E a significant advantage by being able to establish efficient and effective supply chains for a range of perennial grasses that otherwise could not be planted as dedicated crops."

According to the agreement, BG&E will also provide funding for a five-year research program at USC to further advance the technology. "Our funding of the research program will greatly enhance our ability to maintain our leading edge as a renewable energy developer," added Farris. A portion of the funding will be used to expand the current germplasm inventory at USC.

Keith McDermott of BG&E business development said USC's science represents a world changing technology. "This latest development will establish BG&E as a vertically integrated biomass-to-energy company," he said.