Advanced biofuels will play a role in the future transportation systems of the United States. Urban and rural economies across the country depend on heavy trucks, trains, planes and other vehicles that will be difficult to electrify–and demand is growing. Using advanced biofuels for these applications has obvious environmental benefits and will also create a thriving segment of green jobs that give today’s fossil fuel workforce a chance to apply their technical skills to delivering sustainable energy across the nation.
ABO is a strong supporter of research and development that can hasten the commercial availability of algae biofuels.
Biofuels made from algae have the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions and can be used in almost any transportation application.
Algae biofuels can also be produced on marginal lands and without freshwater, thus preserving valuable ecosystem services. Moreover, algae-based fuels can be produced almost anywhere, freeing regions from energy dependence and providing a valuable source of local economic development.
Federal research projects coordinated by the Department of Energy and other agencies have made remarkable progress developing algae cultivation technologies for biofuel production. These advances include increased productivity, enhancements in nutrient use, and significant reductions in the cost of production. In fact, the modeled cost of algae biofuel dropped from $100/gallon in 2008, to less than $5/gallon in 2018.
A number of international companies are advancing algae biofuels investing millions of dollars for R&D and global partnerships aimed at improving sustainability and energy security.
Some of the ABO member companies working in the algae biofuels space include:
- Synthetic Genomics
- Global Algae Innovations
- Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation
Important research and technology development is underway at other companies, many universities and several US Department of Energy National Laboratories:
- Duke University and Marine AlGae Industrialization Consortium(MAGIC)
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
While progress remains to be made, the momentum clearly shows that the remaining challenges can be overcome with a commitment to research, development, and commercial demonstrations.
The benefits from technical advances in algae biofuels go far beyond energy markets. Many of the breakthroughs in biofuel research are also making algae a revolutionary ingredient or process technology in markets for animal and aquaculture feed, human nutrition, fertilizers, wastewater treatment and more.
ABO is working with a diverse coalition dedicated to continuing the exciting progress toward algae-based biofuels and related applications.
Reach out to learn more, or join us to become a part of the progress.