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Imperium's plant in Grays Harbor

A consortium led by LanzaTech, and consisting of Imperium Renewables, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and The Boeing Co., will receive up to $4 million to study new methods of converting biomass-based ethanol into jet fuel.

In a statement, Imperium CEO John Plaza said the grant will help make commercial airlines and the Department of Defense “less reliant on foreign oil.”

It was one of three grants announced today by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu who noted that the “investments aim to accelerate the discovery of innovative solutions that could drive down the cost of biofuels production and boost their availability in the marketplace.”

Back in 2008, Boeing, Imperium and others partnered to launch the first commercial aviation flight using a sustainable biomass-to-liquid fuel mixed with traditional kerosene-based jet fuel. The Virgin Atlantic 747-400 flew using a biofuel blend of babassu oil and coconut oil.

Previously on GeekWireOnce left for dead, Imperium makes comeback as biodiesel plant roars back to life

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