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A new $1 million relationship between ExxonMobil and Michigan State University will expand research into the basic science required to advance algae-based fuels. The partnership seeks to improve the efficiency of photosynthesis in microalgae to produce biofuels and bio-products.

“We know certain types of algae produce bio-oils,” said Vijay Swarup, vice president of ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. “The challenge is to find and develop algae that can produce bio-oils at scale on a cost-efficient basis.”

The goal will be to ultimately process algae bio-oils in ExxonMobil refineries to supplement crude oil as the raw material to manufacture gasoline, diesel, aviation fuels and marine fuels. The company is also researching potential applications in chemicals and lubricants.

Michigan State University

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