BP Becomes Leader in Cellulosic Ethanol Investment, Adds $22.5M to Verenium

cellulosic ethanol plant

On Wednesday, BP anounced a joint venture with Verenium to build the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol facility.  BP’s total investment—now $112.5 million—will be the largest by an oil company in advanced, non-food-based biofuels.

The Florida-based plant would be 25 times larger than Verenium’s existing (and operational) cellulosic ethanol facility in Louisiana, which began operation earlier this month and is expected to produce 60+ million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year when at full capacity. This new, larger facility is schedule to break ground in 2010 and commece operations in 2012.

“This next stage in our relationship with Verenium demonstrates our real commitment to making cellulosic ethanol a reality in the U.S. fuels market in the near term. BP and Verenium together have the technological know-how, engineering capability and market expertise required to demonstrate that we can deliver better, more sustainable biofuels, more quickly.”

Sue Ellerbusch, President of BP Biofuels North America

Last August, we reported that Verenium (click for earlier post) claims to have the edge in cellulosic ethanol production through genetic engineering of the microbes required to turn the cellulosic material (switchgrass, wood chipssugarcane bagassemiscanthus) into ethanol.

[via: Biofuels Digest]

Photo Credit: fredthompson via Flickr under Creative Commons License


In a past life, Clayton was a professional blogger and editor of Gas 2.0, Important Media’s blog covering the future of sustainable transportation. He was also the Managing Editor for GO Media, the predecessor to Important Media.