ExxonMobil to collaborate with Indian universities on biofuel research


US-based energy company ExxonMobil has inked agreements with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) locations in Madras and Bombay to expand its research collaboration portfolio.

This collaboration is part of ExxonMobil’s plans to progress with innovative, lower-emissions research programmes, having already formed partnerships with more than 80 universities, five energy centres and a number of private sector companies. In support of these plans, ExxonMobil has spent $10bn since 2000 on developing and deploying lower-emissions energy solutions.

ExxonMobil Research and Engineering vice president of research and development Vijay Swarup said, “These agreements will give us a better understanding of how to progress and apply technologies in India, and develop breakthrough lower-emissions solutions that can make a difference globally.”

The agreements with IIT focus on developing research into bioproducts and biofuels, climate and environment, gas transport and conversion, and low-emissions technologies for the industrial and power sectors.

IIT Madras dean of industrial consultancy and sponsored research Ravindra Gettu said: “IIT Madras is committed to providing sustainable solutions in the energy, chemicals and waste management sectors, and I am confident about our collaboration with ExxonMobil to achieve these goals.”

This partnership with IIT Madras and Bombay follows a joint study with IIT Bombay and the Council for Energy, Environment and Water, an India-based think tank that focuses on the bioproducts associated with India’s power sector.

The study looked at India’s projected electricity demand growth over the next 20 to 30 years, comparing emissions associated with power generated from liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported from the US and power generated from domestic coal. According to the research, life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from imported LNG are around 54% lower on average than emissions from Indian coal.

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