BP, Martek Biosciences to Develop Biofuel Production

Companies seek to advance the development of technology for the conversion of sugars into biodiesel

BP said on August 11 that it has signed a deal with Martek Biosciences to further develop biofuel production using sugar.

"BP and Martek Biosciences Corp. today announced the signing of a joint development agreement to work on the production of microbial oils for biofuels applications," the pair said. Under the multi-year agreement, the two groups will seek to "advance the development of... technology for the conversion of sugars into biodiesel."

Sugar is already used to make ethanol, a cheaper alternative to gasoline used to power road vehicles.

"As an alternative to conventional vegetable oils, we believe sugar-to-diesel technology has the potential to deliver economic, sustainable and scaleable biodiesel supplies, " said Philip New, CEO of BP Biofuels.

The price of sugar reached a 28-year high in New York trading last week after jumping 25% in three weeks in London trading.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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