As part of our quest to develop and market sustainable biofuels that have a minimal impact on food supplies and can help us make tangible reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, we’re investing in a number of promising research projects

Introducing Sugar to Diesel, an advanced biofuel of the future

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Making biodiesel from sugars

In October 2012, BP and DSM announced a joint development agreement to advance the development of a step-change technology for conversion of sugars into renewable diesel. This agreement extends a relationship that began in 2009 between BP and Martek Biosciences Corporation. This technology offers an alternative to the current biodiesel and Renewable Diesel options, which are reliant on vegetable oils. We have now demonstrated the concept of this technology at pilot scale and we believe sugar-to-diesel technology has the potential to deliver economic, sustainable and scalable Renewable Diesel supplies.

Sugar-to-diesel technology uses advanced biological science to convert sugars derived from biomass feedstocks (such as sugar cane or dedicated energy grasses) into diesel fuel molecules. Biodiesel produced in this way from sustainable feedstocks will have the potential to deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions of more than 60% when compared to traditional fossil fuels. Other advantages of sugar-to-diesel technology include:
  • Flexibility to use many different sustainable, non-food feedstocks, such as sugar cane, sugar cane waste (bagasse) and energy grass, all of which can be produced at scale and with high yields
  • Ability to tailor the product for a variety of diesel and jet-fuel needs
  • Reduced exposure to fluctuations in the price of vegetable oil