Texas AgriLife Research and BP Biofuels have signed a three-year agreement to develop and commercialize cellulosic feedstocks for the production of advanced biofuels.
The joint effort will utilize Texas AgriLife Research’s diverse high biomass energy crop breeding program and BP Biofuels’ position as one of the few global energy companies growing commercial-scale biomass crops for liquid fuels.
“This partnership with BP Biofuels is a fine example of how the public sector and private industry can combine resources to create unique solutions for our world,” said John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System. “The innovation of our researchers ensures that AgriLife will play a role in meeting our energy needs.”
The research and development project has two integrated components—plant breeding and production agronomics. Plant breeding efforts will be focused on developing new varieties of pearl-millet napiergrass, kinggrass, energy cane and miscane suitable for cellulosic biofuel feedstock production along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
To expedite the selection of commercially-robust feedstocks, elite progeny from the plant breeding program will be advanced for demonstration-scale production at a research farm in Texas. The integration of plant breeding and production agronomics will enable BP Biofuels and Texas AgriLife Research to develop elite genetics and production guidelines for future growers.