• 08.12.09

BP Joins Exxon in Algae Fuel Lovefest

The latest Big Oil endorsement of algae-derived fuels signals that the technology may be feasible–and a better alternative–sooner than anyone expected.


The two companies will work together to use Martek’s “unique algae-based technologies and intellectual property
for the creation of sustainable and affordable technology for microbial
biofuel production.” Martek and BP haven’t decided for certain if they will use algae or another efficient microbe to convert sugar into biofuels. But once the perfect microbe is found, BP and Martek will use it to turn biomass (i.e. wood chips and sugar cane) into biodiesel.


From the looks of it, algae fuel is poised to be a major player in the biofuel industry. BP cut its solar, wind, and other biofuel investments this past February, and in July the company announced it will only invest in alternative-energy projects that bring worthwhile financial returns. And in the past, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson has ridiculed biofuels as “moonshine.” So if both of these oil giants are investing in algae fuel, we should all keep a close eye on the technology too.

[Via Reuters]

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.