UMass Amherst receives DARPA award

The Department of Defense has awarded $1.9 million in funding to a biofuel research team led by chemical engineer George Huber at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst so he and colleagues can turn wood and corn waste into fuel precursors. The DoD's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has granted Huber and colleagues funding to investigate new catalysts to enable low-cost pathways for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass (derived from the cells and woody fibers of plants and trees) into a liquid composition that can be easily refined to a fuel such as JP-8. Huber and his team will exploit new chemistries to develop an end-to-end process that starts with biomass as the input and ends with JP-8 range alkanes and aromatics, which are both hydrocarbons and are the essential ingredients in military fuel.