Algae-Biodiesel Nears Commercial-Scale in New Mexico

John Davis

Researchers at a facility in New Mexico have reached a significant milestone in their hopes of producing biodiesel from algae.

This story from the Carlsbad (NM) Current Argus has details:

The Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management recently harvested commercial-scale quantities of algae from its test salt water ponds located at New Mexico State University Agriculture Science Center in north Eddy County, according to Wren Prather-Stroud, spokeswoman for the nonprofit organization based in Carlsbad.

She said the produced oil appears to have all the right profiles for making high quality biodiesel fuel.
The algae are harvested from the ponds and pressed into a green paste, from which the oil is extracted.

Since 2006, the center has been conducting applied research in growing, harvesting and extracting oil from algae to find the most productive species to provide a biofuel.

The center hopes to produce enough algae oil to feed a commercial-sized biodiesel plant in the next 18-24 months.