Kevin Bullis, MIT Technology Review, Feb. 5, 2007
Relatively high oil prices, advances in technology, and the Bush administration's increased emphasis on renewable fuels are attracting new interest in a potentially rich source of biofuels: algae. ...
Kathe Andrews-Cramer, ... at Sandia National Laboratories [says] ... "We could replace certainly all of our diesel fuel with algal-derived oils, and possibly replace a lot more than that."
Raw algae can be processed to make biocrude ... at existing oil refineries to make just about anything that can be made from crude oil. ...
The use of algae for liquid fuels has been studied extensively in the past, including ... a program at ...NREL that ran for nearly a decade. At the time, the results were not encouraging. ... enough has changed that NREL researchers expect to restart the program within the next six months to a year.
The cheapest way to grow algae is in open ponds. But open ponds full of nutrients invite other species to take over, competing with the algae and cutting down production. LiveFuels ... hopes to create algal ecosystems that resist such invaders by ensuring that all the nutrients are converted to forms the algae can easily use.
GreenFuel's John Lewnard, ... says the company thinks it can reach competitive prices without carbon taxes.