Hayward, California [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Mendel Biotechnology, Inc. and BP have entered into a collaboration to develop biofeedstocks for the production of cellulosic biofuels. In addition to funding the five-year biofuels research program, BP will become a shareholder of Mendel with representation on Mendel’s Board.
As the biofuel industry matures, new biofeedstocks will be needed for the production of bio-derived molecules from the entire carbohydrate portion of the plant. To ensure a consistent supply of feedstocks to refineries, a new seed industry is needed to provide farmers with high-yielding varieties, and a new service industry is needed to ensure the delivery of feedstocks to the refineries.
“While the new seed and biofeedstock business will serve the needs of all biofuel refineries, having a first committed collaborator is a critical starting point.” said Neal Gutterson, Mendel’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mendel has already established a breeding program for perennial grass variety improvement and will accelerate this program in collaboration with BP. Mendel will establish breeding stations in the Midwest and the Southeast United States, and accelerate breeding collaborations with groups in Germany and China.
“Mendel has demonstrated its excellence in plant science,” said Tony Meggs, Group Vice President of Technology at BP. “This collaboration with Mendel is one example of BP’s commitment to the development of new technologies to enable the supply of new, renewable energy sources.”