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
The Energy Biosciences InstituteWe’re investing $500 million over 10 years to support the Energy Biosciences Institute – working with the University of California Berkeley and its partners, the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The Institute is the first of its kind in the world: a facility that’s wholly focused on exploring ways in which biosciences can be applied to produce, new, cleaner energy fuels – including of course, advanced biofuels produced from new non-food feedstocks and using new technologies. It also has a pure bioscience research arm, which is currently researching ways in which hydrocarbons can also be converted into clean fuels.
The Institute will provide bespoke training for a new generation of researchers, fusing biotechnology and energy production to create an exciting new applied discipline. With dedicated facilities on both the University of California Berkeley and University of Illinois campuses, we believe that the Institute will provide a vital focal point for contact with other academic projects and leading biotechnology businesses.
Making biodiesel from sugarsIn 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