Indian Oil Corporation Partners With PetroAlgae - Fifth Oil Major to Back Algae Biofuels


photo: PetroAlgae

And then there were five... Indian Oil Corporation has become the fifth major oil company to stake a claim in the world of algae biofuels. IOCL has a signed a memorandum of understanding with Florida-based PetroAlgae to license micro-crop technologies for "future large-scale production of renewable fuels."In announcing the deal, IndianOil says it will collaborate with PetroAlgae on developing algal strains that will best suit Indian conditions. Afterwards, a pilot facility to demonstrate the commercial viability of this technology will be developed.

As for when this commercial viability may come, there is no word beyond a 60 Mgy facility proposed for the "near future", which will also generate "high-value protein that can be used for animal feed production."

Drop-In Replacement for Petroleum-Based Fuels
Like the other algae partnerships being pursued by big oil, the fuel to be produced under this agreement will be a drop-in replacement for petroleum-based fuels -- meaning it can be shipped, stored, distributed and used in the existing fuel infrastructure.

For the record, those other four oil companies betting on algae are: ExxonMobil/Synthetic Genomics; Shell/Cellana; BP/Martek; and, Chevron/Solazyme.

As Biofuels Digest points out, IndianOil now has the distinction of being the first national oil company to form an algae biofuels partnership.

Algae Biofuels
ExxonMobil Bets on Algae in First Major Biofuel Investment
Plankton Power to Build Algae Biofuel Facility on Cape Cod
New Algae Biofuel from Sapphire Energy 'Chemically Identical to Gasoline'

Tags: Biofuels | India | Renewable Energy | United States