Creating commercial quantities of biofuel from algae can be accelerated with smart public-private partnerships that bridge the research and development of new technologies with the large-scale production and operations that will be required to bring the new fuels and other products to market.
That’s why last week’s news from the Department of Energy is so good for algae’s prospects. DOE announced last Tuesday that a $15 million award for advancing algae production will go to supporting efforts at the Arizona State University led Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3).
This makes ATP3 the nation’s first algae technology testbed.
What’s a testbed? ATP3 is a network of research institutions and companies that will pool resources in a way that allows new algae technologies, strains and techniques to be tested and evaluated for their potential to succeed at large-scale production. The ability to conduct this kind of testing can boost new industries that are perfecting technologies in laboratory settings.
The DOE support of a national algae testbed shows that the incredible milestones the algae industry has achieved over the past few years, coupled with steady technical improvement, are convincing evidence that algae commercialization must be accelerated.
Given that the state government in Arizona has already passed sensible laws that support algae business, and that Arizona State has deep experience in algae research, it is likely that ATP3 will be adding to the number of milestones already achieved.
You can read more about the ATP3 testbed and participating organizations at ASU News.
Algae innovation and commercialization will be hot topics at the Algae Biomass Summit in Denver, Colorado that is running September 24-27. Find out more and register here!