DOE Announces $85 Million For Algal & Advanced Biofuels Research

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


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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ExxonMobil Invests $600M with Algae Company

Monday August 17th, 2009 at 7:88 AM
Posted by: tonyb


So, assuming we still have cars in the future, just what are we going to put in the tank? And that’s even assuming that there’s a tank to put “fuel” into. By this time 50 years hence, everything could be electric. ExxonMobil, a company that knows a thing or two about energy production is investing very heavily in, of all things, algae as a possible future fuel. And yes, that’s algae as in the same stuff that grows on the inside of a fish tank.

The quick rundown of the numbers looks like this: ExxonMobil is investing 600 million dollars (which is a pretty big sum) with a company that is heavily into turning algae into a fuel source for our cars. That company, Synthetic Genomics, is run by J. Craig Venter and their biggest triumph to date has been mapping the human genome. In other words, neither of these outfits are new venture start up/pie in the sky sorts of deals.

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Goodbye Fossil Fuels. Hello Algae!

Monday February 9th, 2009 at 7:22 AM
Posted by: m35man

algaeAs gas prices fluctuate, the world is racing to find new sources of fuel. From cooking grease to corn oil; from electricity to steam; from natural gas to propane—scientists, engineers and even backyard hobbyists are clamoring to find the “next big thing” when it comes to powering the cars of the not-so-distant future. It’s a race and whoever wins it will be hailed as the next Henry Ford or Albert Einstein

I’m talking about algae.

Algae biofuel is all the rage right now, and although it’s just in its infancy, it could soon be the one thing that will solve many of the world’s fuel problems. Since it can be found within every ocean on the planet and can be produced in great abundance, algae is starting to get the publicity and attention it deserves. As we phase out fossil fuels, you’re going to start hearing about this alternative source more and more.

One of the great things about algae is that it does not take up land space (like corn), and you can use polluted water to grow it in—even raw sewage. And if there’s one thing we’re good at producing, it’s sewage. All it needs is water and sunlight.

I can see it now—Aquaman, Charlie Tuna or Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps can do the commercials for algae. This is one weed that won’t get Phelps in hot water. I can already see the taglines—“Dive Into Algae” or “Algae: The Other Green Fuel.”

Read the article from after the jump:

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