UOP, Honeywell's petroleum industry process company, has announced that it has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the US Department of Energy to develop economically viable technology to stabilize pyrolysis oil from second-generation biomass feedstocks for use as a renewable fuel source.

According to the company, biomass pyrolysis oil is made from second-generation feedstocks like the residuals from agricultural and forestry industries or wood-based construction and demolition materials.

The oil can be combusted in industrial burners and furnaces for power and heating or further refined into transportation fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. However, the oil is corrosive and unstable, making it difficult to store and transport.

UOP said that the company and its partners, using funding from the DOE’s National Biofuels Action Plan, will work to modify the composition of biomass pyrolysis oil to solve those issues.

The company will work with Ensyn Corporation, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Pall Corporation and the Crop Conversion Science and Engineering Research Unit of the US Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service on the project. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.

Jennifer Holmgren, general manager for UOP’s renewable energy and chemicals business, said: The development of second-generation biofeedstock conversion technology is critical for biofuels to support our energy needs. Finding a cost-effective service will ensure that pyrolysis oil is a viable renewable source for power and transportation fuels.