MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, US — Cargill and Virent, Inc. are partnering to study Cargill’s use of corn dextrose as a feedstock to Virent’s BioForming technology to produce “drop-in” low-carbon biofuels and biochemicals.

Virent’s BioForming technology utilizes sugars found in plants as a feedstock to produce drop-in renewable gasoline and jet fuel, as well as lower carbon biochemicals, including bio-paraxylene, a raw material for producing 100% renewable and recyclable biopolyester. The sugars may originate from any plant source, including first-generation crops such as corn, sugar cane and sugar beets, as well as lignocellulosic materials derived from wood, corn stover, bagasse and other sources.

“We are working to scale up the BioForming process and are very pleased to announce our work with Cargill to study the availability of corn dextrose as a feedstock,” said Dave Kettner, president of Virent. “We believe US corn dextrose is an attractive feedstock for our process and expect this study to demonstrate how US corn dextrose can be used for broader applications to produce renewable gasoline, jet fuel and biobased chemicals.

“Establishing the Virent BioForming process as a viable opportunity for producing jet fuel and renewable gasoline as a complement to ethanol will not only open new markets for corn but expand the greater opportunities for both renewable fuels and chemicals.”

Virent will use the study findings to evaluate options for scale-up and the development of a first commercial plant utilizing the BioForming technology. The long-term objective is to use commercially available feedstocks today as a bridge to next-generation lignocellulosic feedstocks in the future.

“Cargill is excited to take this next step in our long-standing journey with Virent,” said Mike Wagner, managing director of Cargill. “Virent’s biochemical R&D expertise and Bioforming technology combined with Cargill’s global strength in carbohydrate feedstock and expertise in corn processing makes this a natural joint effort. Building out the bioeconomy and increasing the diversification of our corn grind are both at the core of our strategy, making this an ideal project and highly compatible partnership for Cargill.”