In a July 16, 2014, announcement, Evonik stated it has closed on an equity investment in Biosynthetic Technologies, LLC (BT), a specialist in biobased lubricants headquartered in Irvine, California. BT has developed and manufactures a new class of biobased synthetic oils called estolides that are used primarily in the passenger car motor oil and industrial lubricant sectors. Field trials have shown that the technical characteristics of the biobased synthetic oils made by BT are exceptionally good, and include the ability to combat soot buildup in engines, which helps keep fuel consumption low. In addition to Evonik, BP Ventures also participated as a second strategic investor in this current funding round that focuses on growth. BP Ventures and Monsanto Company have already invested in previous financing rounds.
BT's new class of biobased synthetic oils are made from organic fatty acids found in plant oils and have numerous uses in the lubricant, chemical, and cosmetics industries. They are biodegradable, nontoxic, and they do not bioaccumulate in marine life. BT holds a broad patent portfolio to protect these novel biosynthetic oils that are marketed under the trade name LubriGreen® Biosynthetic Oils. A copy of the press release is available online.