Forestry Investment and Biofuel Investment – Martek Biosciences and oil giant BP are joining forces to develop microbial oil, which can be used in biofuels.
Microbial oil is created through the fermentation of sugars from forestry waste products, which are then converted into lipids, which in turn are fermented into fuel molecules.
Biofuels release 80 per cent fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than fossil fuels.
The agreement between Martek and BP will look at ways to develop the process of converting sugars from wood chip etc. into biodiesel. Philip New, the CEO at BP Biofuels says that using sugars obtained from sustainable forestry is the way forward, “as an alternative to conventional vegetable oils, we believe sugar to diesel technology has the potential to deliver economic, sustainable and scalable biodiesel supplies.”
New added, “in partnering with Martek, we combine the world’s leading know-how in microbial lipid production with our expertise in fuel markets and applications, and our more recent experience in biofuel production and commercialisation.”
This is the latest project from a large energy firm to look at ways to produce biofuels on a commercial level, so that it is viable and can produce profit while helping to reduce climate change.