You may have read about cellulosic ethanol company Verenium opening up the first demonstration-scale cellulosic ethanol plant in the United States two months or so ago. Well, now the Massachusetts-based firm has announced a partnership with BP which it hopes will accelerate the commercialization of the second-generation biofuel.
Verenium Gets Money, BP Gets Intellectual Property Rights
Announced today, BP and Verenium will form a strategic partnership which will pump $90 million into Verenium's coffers over the next 18 months. BP will gain "rights to current and future technology held withing the partnership." BP's First Foray Into Cellulosic Ethanol
Talking up the deal, Sue Ellerbusch, president of BP Biofuels North America said,
BP is very pleased to be entering this important relationship with Verenium. We believe energy crops like sugar cane, miscanthus and energy cane are the best feedstocks to deliver economic, sustainable and scaleable biofuels to the world. This deal puts us at the front of the cellulosic biofuels game. In partnering with Verenium, we now have the most advanced technology for transforming these energy grasses to biofuels, [...] Verenium has already demonstrated the technology, making this real and an appropriate fit with our commitment to bring more sustainable biofuels to the market more quickly.
In the past BP has formed alliances with other biofuels developers: Tropica BioEnergia in Brazil for ethanol, and D1 Oils for Jatropha-based biodiesel.
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