Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that they would offer up to $85 million in funding for the development of algae-based biofuels and advanced, infrastructure-compatible biofuels. The funding comes as part of the funds released from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The goal of the monies is to bring together a group of leading algae and advanced biofuels scientists and engineers from both universities and private industry in an attempt to bring new technologies and fuels to market in an accelerated time frame.
During a session today from the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing,”Algae for Fuels and Chemicals,” several presenters predicted that commercial production of algal fuels was still 5-10 years away and that better collaboration was needed to bring the fuels to market faster. In addition, Steve Gluck, a scientist with Dow Chemical Company noted that more government funding is needed for algae research. You can read about the session’s key highlights by visiting the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s blog.
Algae can be used to produce many products including green diesel, green gasoline and green aviation fuels. Early tests from various companies such as Amyris and Solazyme have determined that blending algal fuels into current gasoline blends requires no additional infrastructure development and meets or exceeds EPA emission standards.
The FOA is available at FedConnect, and can be found by searching for Reference Number DE-FOA-0000123. You can also see details of additional funds from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act dedicated to biofuels by visiting the DOE’s website. To learn more about biomass and biofuels research and development, visit the DOE Biomass Program website.