DOE places emphasis on algae development

By | December 09, 2009
The U.S. DOE is developing a National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap to assess the current state of algae technology and determine how to commercialize algae-to-biofuel processes. The agency intends to focus on developing advanced drop-in biofuels, such as those that are being developed from algae, in a more accelerated fashion than cellulosic ethanol.

According to Valerie Reed of the DOE's Office of Energy Effeciency and Renewable Energy, the DOE is seeking to develop algae-to-biofuels pilot-scale demonstration facilities within 10 years. The agency has already dedicated $50 million toward this development and hopes to learn from some of the mistakes made in developing cellulosic ethanol. "Cellulosic ethanol was done in a piecemeal fashion, and this consortia concept is meant to bring together all the experts necessary, with some key targets in mind," she said.