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Exxon Refocusing Algae Biofuels Program After $100 Million Spend

Exxon Mobil Corp., which has invested more than $100 million to develop algae-derived biofuels, is refocusing its research with Synthetic Genomics Inc. after almost four years of work failed to produce economically viable results.

Exxon, the world’s biggest maker of gasoline and diesel, and Synthetic Genomics “have gained significant understanding of the challenges that must be overcome to deliver scalable algae-based biofuels,” Exxon spokesman Charles Engelmann said yesterday by e-mail. The company, based in Irving, Texas, began the program in 2009 and said it would invest $600 million to develop fuels within a decade. It has already spent more than $100 million, Engelmann said.