02 February 2007 10:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--BP has committed $500m (€384m) over the next decade to support a biofuels research program based at the University of California, Berkeley and University of Illinois in the US, the energy major said on Friday.
BP said the Energy Biosciences Institute would initially focus on developing cleaner fuels for road transport but also pursue separate bioscience-based research including the conversion of heavy hydrocarbons to clean fuels.
Up to 50 BP staff located on the two campuses will work in partnership with university researchers.
BP has invested larges sums of money on renewable energy although last year claimed it had no plans to produce biofuels on a large scale.
“We are joining with some of the world’s best science and engineering talent to meet the world’s demand for low carbon energy, said chairman of BP in the US Bob Malone.
“As part of that effort we will be working to improve and expand the production of clean, renewable energy through the integrated development of better crops, better processing technologies, and new biofuels,” he added.
President George Bush recently called for a five-fold increase in consumption of ethanol, the most widely used biofuel, to 35bn gal/year by 2017 as part of a plan to reduce national gasoline consumption by 20% by that year.
In 2006 BP blended 718m gallons of ethanol with its gasoline products, a 25% increase on the previous year.
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