California-based Biosynthetic Technologies has begun producing a synthetic plant-based alternative to petroleum in motor oil and industrial lubricants under a contract at Albemarle’s Baton Rouge complex.

Biosynthetic Technologies said the demonstration is designed to validate every aspect of the manufacturing process. The company plans to develop a full-scale commercial production plant and is now evaluating locations, including sites in California.

The biosynthetic oil, known as Estolides, could greatly reduce environmental pollution associated with petroleum, the company said.

Biosynthetic Technologies said its new oil would reduce greenhouse emmissions by 83 percent to 88 percent in comparison to similar petroleum-based synthetic oils.

More than 40 percent of the pollution in America’s waterways comes from used motor oil, according to the California Department of Health Services. The runoff from car leaks or illegal dumping is carried by stormwater to waterways and ultimately to the ocean.

“Our biosynthetic oils are a win-win for consumers, offering the cleanest engine possible and a cleaner environment,” said Biosynthetic Technologies Chief Executive Officer Allen Barbieri.

Billions of gallons of petroleum lubricant ingredients can be replaced with a safer, cleaner, high-performing alternative that will protect engines and the environment, Barbieri said.