Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Next Geneation Biofuels in the News

A Biofuel Process to Replace All Fossil Fuels
A startup unveils a high-yield process for making fuel from carbon dioxide and sunlight.

A startup based in Cambridge, MA--Joule Biotechnologies--today revealed details of a process that it says can make 20,000 gallons of biofuel per acre per year. If this yield proves realistic, it could make it practical to replace all fossil fuels used for transportation with biofuels. The company also claims that the fuel can be sold for prices competitive with fossil fuels.

Big Oil Turns to Algae
ExxonMobil invests $300 million in Synthetic Genomics to develop algae biofuel.

ExxonMobil announced a commitment to invest $300 million over five to six years in Synthetic Genomics, which Craig Venter founded and now leads as CEO, and to spend an additional $300 million on a complementary internal algae program.

The push is to take advantage of algae's ability to efficiently transform sunlight into lipids that can be relatively easily converted into diesel, gasoline, and possibly even advanced hydrocarbons used to manufacture plastics, chemicals, and other products.

Dow to Test Algae Ethanol
Startup Algenol partners with Dow Chemical on a demonstration ethanol plant.

Florida startup Algenol Biofuels says that it can efficiently produce commercial quantities of ethanol directly from algae without the need for fresh water or agricultural lands--a novel approach that has captured the interest and backing of Dow Chemical, the chemical giant based in Midland, MI.

The companies announced plans to build and operate a demonstration plant on 24 acres of property. It will consist of 3,100 horizontal bioreactors, each about 5 feet wide and 50 feet long and capable of holding 4,000 liters.

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