Though a joint development agreement, BP and Martek will work to advance technologies that will convert sugars into biodiesels, BP stated.
"As an alternative to conventional vegetable oils, we believe sugar to diesel technology has the potential to deliver economic, sustainable and scaleable biodiesel supplies," says Philip New, chief executive officer at BP Biofuels.
The process converts sugars derived from biomass, such as wood chips and sugar cane waste, into lipids for fermentation and conversion into fuel molecules. Biodiesels derived from the fermentation of sugars produces 80 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions then traditional fossil fuels.
The agreement outlines the multiyear coordination on a large-scale concept for the production of microbial biodiesel through fermentation.
BP contributes $10 million toward the early stages of the program that relies on the microbial oil production experience of Martek and the commercialization experience of BP in biofuels.
"In partnering with Martek, we combine the world's leading know-how in microbial lipid production with our expertise in fuels markets and applications, and our more recent experience in biofuels production and commercialization," said New.