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Algae's the Flavor Of The Month

Thursday August 20th, 2009 at 5:88 AM
Posted by: m35man

I was at the coffee shop this morning and people weren’t talking about the newest Colombian or Brazilian roast. Instead, they were discussing algae as a fuel source. It’s a hot topic, but there’s a ton of misinformation out there about algae. A lot of the data is very technical, and I’m not a scientist, but I’ve done some researched on this topic.

Algae is the flavor of the month right now, so let’s look at the facts about this new thing on the green scene.

ALGAE FACTOIDS
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DOE Announces $85 Million For Algal & Advanced Biofuels Research

Tuesday August 18th, 2009 at 9:88 AM
Posted by: tonyb

algae

It seems that not only is ExxonMobil putting a ton of money into algae as a fuel source (as I mentioned yesterday) but so is the Department of Energy. In this case, it’s “only” $85 million, much less than ExxonMobil’s $600M, that’s still a significant amount of cash. Does this mean that there’s more to the idea of using algae to make fuel than we first thought?

Before we get into that, let’s just have a brief review of what using algae-as-fuel hope to accomplish. As I understand it, you can grow algae at a ferocious rate and the right strains of algae produce a lot of ethanol (or ethanol-like) compounds that can then be refined into fuel that can then be poured into our gas tanks. Will it work? Well, in the last two days, ExxonMobil and the DoE are betting almost 700 million dollars that it will.

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