Exxon Mobil Corp. (www.exxonmobil.com) announced a $600 million investment in algae-based biofuels research and development, including a partnership with Synthetic Genomics Inc. (www.syntheticgenomics.com), a developer of genomic-driven solutions to address global energy and environmental challenges. The partnership between the two companies will aim to develop biofuels produced from sunlight, water and waste carbon dioxide by photosynthetic pond scum.

As part of its announcement, Exxon Mobil will directly invest $300 million in Synthetic Genomics over the next five to six years. The remaining $300 million of Exxon Mobil’s investment in biofuels is slated for internal research and development efforts in this area.

Under terms of the partnership, Exxon Mobil and Synthetic Genomics will work together to build a new test facility in San Diego to study algae-growing methods and oil extraction techniques, according to a report by The New York Times (www.nytimes.com). After that, Exxon Mobil said it could invest billions of dollars more to scale up biofuel technology and bring it to commercial production.

To read the full New York Times report on this story, click here.