Date: Oct 22, 2012 Author: Kathleen Gallagher Source: (
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The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation said Monday it has licensed a novel biofuel production method to Hyrax Energy Inc., a start-up company.
Ron Raines, a University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemistry professor and Hyrax co-founder, developed the company's technology for making sugar from cellulose, the touch carbohydrate that gives structure to plants. The fermentable sugars can then be converted into chemicals, fuels and plastics.
"Using waste materials such as corn stover and forestry byproducts, society may now have a way to produce high-value fuels and chemicals that improve the efficiency of the agricultural industry while reducing our nation's reliance on imported fossil fuels," said Jennifer Gottwald, a WARF licensing manager.
WARF and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center have helped fund Hyrax's development and patenting of the technology, according to a news release.
Hyrax earned top place at the Chicago Clean Energy Challenge competition in March.
The company is raising capital and plans to hire a small number of employees, the release said. It was unclear where the start-up will locate its operations.