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US Energy Department plans to overhaul algae production

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is expected to spend up to $25 million (€19.8 million) on...
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The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has filed comments with the European Commission (EC)...
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Volume 3, Issue 5

Feature: Pond powered ethanol
Producing biodiesel from algae is the latest craze in the US, brought to the forefront again this month by the high profile demise of Massachusettsbased Greenfuel. The company, which struggled for eight years to commercialise its algae production system, shut down completely in May and is now selling off its assets. Although Greenfuel did not make it, there are around 50 other algaebased biodiesel companies in the US still persisting. But there are very few looking at using algae to produce the other major biofuel, bioethanol. Florida-headquartered Algenol believes it is taking a fresh, innovative approach to producing biofuels, using direct to ethanol technology, and has chosen Mexico for the location of its first industrialscale ethanol facility. Algenol signed a deal with BioFields nearly two years ago now, and has committed $850 million (€600 million) to build the facility near the Pacific coast close to Cabo San Lucas. Although the company ideally wants a plant on US soil, land in Mexico is half the price, and by locating here Algenol has secured a 1km corridor next to the ocean. Back in 2007 ethanol in Mexico was extremely unpopular as many believed using corn to make biofuels was the cause of rising tortilla prices.


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Volume 8, Issue 5

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