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Conversion Technology:
Virent is replacing crude oil by creating the chemicals and fuels the world demands through utilization of a wide variety of naturally occurring, renewable resources. Our patented BioForming®technology features catalytic chemistry, which converts plant-based sugars into a full range of hydrocarbon productsidentical to those made from petroleum, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and chemicals for plastics and fibers. Virent produces its hydrocarbon chemicals and fuels from plant sugars in a few hours, compared to the millions of years required for petroleum.

Virent’s molecules are identical to those produced from crude, and its products are truly “drop-in” and ready to work in today’s chemical and fuel supply chains, including manufacturing facilities, pipelines, tanks and fueling stations. Our drop-in fuels are also fully compatible with current automobile, jet and diesel engines at high blend levels. Key to energy security, Virent’s technology can replace over 90% of the products that come from a barrel of crude oil. The petro-chemicals and fuels our civilization has come to depend on now have a sustainable alternative.

Virent has built and operates two small demonstration units at its headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin. The first was commissioned in 2010 and is capable of producing up to 10,000 gallons per year (30 tons per year) of an aromatic rich reformate stream suitable for biogasoline, biojet (HDO-SAK) and several chemical products. The second was commissioned in 2013 and is capable of producing up to 5,000 gallons per year (15 tons per year) of our distillate product stream suitable for biodiesel, biojet (HDO-SK) and additional chemical markets.

Virent biogasoline has been used over the last four seasons by the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team. Through funding provided by several DOE research grants, Virent is working to produce a wide range of drop-in hydrocarbon fuels and chemicals from non-food feedstocks like corn stover, sugar cane bagasse and woody biomass. The Coca-Cola Company has partnered with Virent to develop Virent’s BioFormPX™ for use in producing a 100% renewable, 100% recyclable PlantBottle® packaging solution. Some other recent milestones include:


  • Shell built a next generation biofuels pilot plant at their Westhollow, Texas R&D center to produce drop-in biofuels using technology licensed from Virent.
  • Virent and Virdia successfully converted cellulosic pine tree sugars to drop-in biojet fuel with the BIRD Energy project.
  • USDA Secretary Vilsack toured Virent.


  • Virent delivered 100 gallons of plant-based jet fuel to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for testing.
  • Virent received a federal award of up to $4M to develop carbon conversion efficiency of biomass to distillate products.
  • Virent was awarded a 2013 ICIS Chemical Business Innovation Award, winning the Best Sustainability Innovation category,and was also awarded an Emerging Innovation Award presented by Securing America’s Future Energy.