Located in the heart of the biotech community in San Diego, BP’s Biosciences Center (BSC) studies how bioscience can deliver technology solutions to business challenges, add value to BP’s businesses and make them more sustainable.
The BSC team — consisting of dozens of scientists who have cross-disciplinary capabilities in biological sciences, chemical engineering and chemistry — works across BP, supporting many aspects of its operations. This includes the production of renewable energy, oil and natural gas, along with the development of innovative and efficient fuels, lubricants and bio-based products.
The BSC supports BP’s strategy to help the world transition to a low-carbon energy future by:
“Biotechnology is a new tool for BP, and we are only beginning to explore its potential,” says Dr. Angelo Amorelli, vice president of group research. “At the BSC, we believe we have created a differentiated biotechnology capability that can deliver value to existing BP businesses and support BP’s longer-term strategies.”
BP believes biotechnology has the potential to significantly affect the economics and environmental impact of the energy sector.
For example, biotechnology applications in oil and gas production include areas such as enhanced oil recovery, souring control, wastewater treatment and remediation. Advances in these areas can improve the commercial viability of a reservoir and the environmental performance of the extraction process.
The BSC also provides engineering support to BP’s biofuels business, which produces ethanol from sugarcane in Brazil. This type of ethanol has lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions that are about 70 percent lower than conventional transportation fuels.
Meanwhile, the BSC provides specialist advice to Butamax*, BP’s joint venture with DuPont. The Butamax technology converts sugars from corn into an energy-rich biofuel known as bio-isobutanol, which can be blended with gasoline at higher concentrations than ethanol and transported through existing fuel pipelines and infrastructures.