Located in San Diego, bp’s Biosciences Center (BSC) is a key component of our global innovative and engineering business.
Accelerating low carbon technology
BSC experts provide technology advisory services to a wide range of bp businesses. For example, they help our trading and shipping business with renewable natural gas and low carbon fuels project development, and they help bp ventures evaluate disruptive low carbon technologies and understand different investment possibilities.
In recent years, the BSC team has supported our investment in California-based Fulcrum BioEnergy, which in 2021 finished building the first-ever commercial-scale plant capable of turning household garbage into low-cost, zero-carbon transportation fuels. Meanwhile, the BSC continues to provide engineering support to our Brazilian bioenergy joint venture bp Bunge biofuels business.
Breakthroughs in biotechnology
We believe biotechnology has the potential to transform both the economics and the environmental impact of energy production, and we are constantly pursuing new research opportunities.
Between 2019 and 2021, the BSC team worked with UC –San Diego biological oceanographer Jeff Bowman to develop new digital tools using microbial information. Through our research with Dr. Bowman, we developed computational pipelines to analyze microbial DNA sequence data, along with machine learning models that can accurately predict microbially derived souring levels in hydrocarbons within lab-scale bioreactors.
bp is now testing these tools against other bioreactor and real-world field samples. As we enhance the microbial models over time, we believe they will help us better understand souring risks and potential solutions, which will make our operations safer, more reliable and more sustainable.
Other BSC research has examined opportunities for metal recovery from bp’s liquid wastewater streams and whether environmental DNA could help improve impact assessments and monitoring across our businesses.
Partnership with the University of Illinois
Since it was set-up in 2012, bp-ICAM has funded research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to help develop new materials that improve the safe operation and reliability of components and systems where routine inspection is difficult.
The numbers tell the story
bp has contributed
for research at UIUC
The team has conducted
14 research projects
The team has been granted
because of its work
have been published in leading academic journals
The team has presented at
throughout the world
The BSC will remain a key driver of innovation for bp, supporting our businesses and helping us to deliver our net zero strategy.
Source: Platts Daily April 2021
Source: Megawatt Daily, 2021 Wholesale Power Sales Statistics (June 16, 2021)
IEA report – The Role of gas in today’s energy transitions