Research and innovation

Advanced biofuels

We are working alongside scientists at universities, government laboratories and companies to progress the science needed to deliver advanced biofuels with environmental benefits.

Investing in New Technologies

Meeting demand for increased energy supplies

Global demand for energy is projected to grow by about 25 percent through 2040. To expand supplies — while increasing efficiency and mitigating emissions — an integrated set of solutions will be required.

That is why ExxonMobil is funding a broad portfolio of biofuels research programs for new energy sources. ExxonMobil is focused on advanced biofuels that do not compete with food or water supplies. Examples include algae, corn stover, switchgrass or methane emitted from microbial activity in landfills. Among many other benefits, algae can be used to manufacture biofuels similar in composition to today’s transportation fuels.

Research and development highlights


lower life cycle greenhouse gas emissions will be produced by algal biofuels as compared to petroleum-derived fuel


ExxonMobil investment in biofuels research in the last decade
We are targeting

1,500 gallons

fuel per acre per year potentially yielded from algae — five times more fuel per acre than from sugar cane or corn

ExxonMobil and Renewable Energy Group partner with Clariant to advance cellulosic biofuel research

ExxonMobil and Renewable Energy Group (REG) signed a joint research agreement with Clariant to evaluate the potential use of cellulosic sugars from sources such as agricultural waste and residues to produce biofuel, which has the potential to play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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All articles about advanced biofuels

Five big ideas from the Aspen Ideas Festival The musician Common, founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg and ExxonMobil vice president of research and development Vijay Swarup don’t often run in the same circles.

Advanced biofuels Energy Factor July 9, 2019

Working on tomorrow's biofuel Synthetic Genomics (SGI) and ExxonMobil have worked together for a decade now, driven by a single goal: Create a pathway to refine algae oils into low-emission diesel that can power trucks, boats, even planes.

Advanced biofuels Energy Factor May 28, 2019

Farm fresh fuel The science behind converting farming or plant leftovers into next-generation, lower-emission biodiesel could one day transform how heavy-duty drivers fill their tanks.

Advanced biofuels Energy Factor Jan. 23, 2019

What algae-powered fuels mean to kids To a kid, using algae for fuel may sound strange, but to ExxonMobil’s scientists, biofuel made from algae has the potential to be a major player in a low-carbon energy future.

Advanced biofuels Energy Factor Jan. 17, 2019

Sunrise to sunset: 24 hours at an algae farm At a research farm nestled in Southern California’s Imperial County, Synthetic Genomics and ExxonMobil are cultivating acres of energy-rich algae. Their goal: Have the technical ability to produce 10,000 barrels a day of low-emission algae biofuel.

Advanced biofuels Energy Factor Dec. 4, 2018