Oil Executives Speak on Importance of Biotechnology

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Oil Executives Speak on Importance of Biotechnology

TORONTO -- Executives from BP and Chevron joined DuPont to speak about the need for biofuels and alternative forms of energy at the third annual World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing.

"Biotechnology holds the key to driving down the costs of biofuels production," according to Justin Adams, director of the long term technology strategy for BP, noting that the drivers for energy's future are supply, security and environmental constraints.

He added that biotechnology must work on the development of feedstocks, novel enzymes and fermentation technology. "What chemistry did in the 20th century, biology will do in the 21st," Adams said.

To that same end, DuPont research manager Bill Provine spoke about how the company is using industrial biotechnology through the value chain, from agricultural feedstocks to enzymes and fermentation processes.

Chevron's representative, Richard Zalesky, vice president of Biofuels & Hydrogen Business Unit for Chevron Technology Ventures, outlined a joint venture with the state of California and Pacific Ethanol to study usage of E85 in state-owned vehicles. Chevron also announced a partnership with the Georgia Institute of Technology to research cellulosic biofuels, biodiesel and hydrogen as possible transportation fuels.