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Martek teams with BP on biofuels

Columbia-based Martek Biosciences signed a joint development deal with BP to work on the production of microbial oils for biofuels applications. The respective partners bring a broad technology platform and operational capabilities to advance the development of a step-change technology to convert sugars into biodiesel.

Under the multi-year partnership, Martek and BP will collaborate to establish working prototypes for cost effective microbial biodiesel production through fermentation. Researched for more than 20 years, the challenge will be to adapt the technology to the needs of the biofuels market with regard to product profile and economics.

"Martek is pleased to partner with BP's Alternative Energy team, to combine our unique algae-based technologies and intellectual property for the creation of sustainable and affordable technology for microbial biofuel production," says Steve Dubin, Martek CEO.

BP will contribute up to $10 million for this initial phase of its collaboration with Martek, utilizing the company's expertise in microbial oil production and BP's production and commercialization experience in biofuels as the jumping off point for the joint project.

Martek will perform the biotechnology research and development related to the initial phase of the project, while BP will offer its integration within the biofuels value chain.

Biodiesel produced from sustainable feedstocks via the fermentation of sugars will offer the potential to deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions of up to 80 percent to 90 percent when compared to traditional fossil fuel.

Writer: Walaika Haskins
Source: Steve Dubin, Martek
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