ExxonMobil to Develop Algae-Based BioFuels

July 14, 2009

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ExxonMobil has formed an alliance with Synthetic Genomics to research and develop biofuels using photosynthetic algae.

Under the initiative, ExxonMobil expects to spend more than $600 million, including $300 million in internal costs and more than $300 million to SGI. The company will work with SGI to create advanced biofuels that are compatible with gasoline and diesel.

"While significant work and years of research and development still must be completed, if successful, algae-based fuels could help meet the world's growing demand for transportation fuel while reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Michael Dolan, senior vice president of ExxonMobil.

The biofuels program is part of an ongoing effort by ExxonMobil to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiency.

"Among other advantages, readily available sunlight and carbon dioxide used to grow the photosynthetic algae could provide greenhouse gas mitigation benefits," said Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. "Growing algae does not rely on fresh water and arable land otherwise used for food production. And lastly, algae have the potential to produce large volumes of oils that can be processed in existing refineries to manufacture fuels that are compatible with existing transportation technology and infrastructure."

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