HOEVELAKEN, The Netherlands, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- BIOeCON [http://www.bioecon.com] a leading pioneer in the field of non-edible biomass conversion, has raised an additional 1 million Euros from existing shareholders, including a grant from the Dutch Ministry of Economic affairs, to design and build a prototype of a fuel cell which can convert cellulosic biomass directly into electricity.

This concept, code-named BiCEPS (Biomass Conversion to Electrical Power Systems), has been under development in cooperation with the Eindhoven University of Technology in the group of Prof. emeritus Rutger van Santen who recently was succeeded by Prof. Emiel Hensen. The fuel cell prototype will be built by a team led by Dr. Hans Heinerman, BIOeCON's business development director.

This is BIOeCON's third breakthrough technology since its formation early in 2006: In 2007 BIOeCON formed a joint venture called KiOR [ http://www.kior.com] financed by Khosla Ventures to develop and commercialize Biomass Catalytic Cracking (BCC) a process in which biomass waste can be converted into transportation fuels. KiOR, located in Houston Texas, has progressed into the demonstration phase with a first commercial plant now under construction in Mississippi.

In 2009 BIOeCON and PETROBRAS SA entered into a joint development agreement to scale-up and commercialize a process called BiCHEM in which cellulosic biomass is converted into platform chemicals suitable for polymers and/or fuel additives. An international research group led by Prof. emeritus Jacob Moulijn has been established at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven to demonstrate BiCHEM on a pilot scale.