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US Department of Energy Continues to Support Algae Technology

Great news for the algae industry this week as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has funded two projects focused on driving down the cost of producing affordable and sustainable fuels from algae.

Cellana's raceway algae ponds in Hawaii

Raceway algae ponds at Cellana’s facility in Hawaii

Today, DOE announced $3.5 million for an algae project aimed at accelerating the development of sustainable, affordable algal biofuels. This research project supports the Department’s goal of producing 2,500 gallons of algal biofuel feedstock per acre per year by 2018, an important milestone toward reducing the cost of algal biofuels to cost-competitive levels of 5,000 gallons per acre per year by 2022.

ABO member company Cellana, LLC, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, was selected to develop a fully integrated, high-yield algae feedstock production system by integrating the most advanced strain improvement, cultivation, and processing technologies into their operations at their Kona Demonstration Facility.

Earlier this week, the DOE announced that SRI International of Menlo Park, California would receive $3.2 million to produce a bio-crude oil from algal biomass that will maximize the amount of renewable carbon recovered for use in fuel and reduce the nitrogen content of the product in order to meet fuel quality standards.

The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about EERE’s work with industry, academia, and national laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in biofuels and conversion technologies.

Congrats to both companies, and a special thank you to the DOE’s EERE for its continued support of algae technologies. Our industry continues to make significant progress in commercialization of algae-derived fuels, feed and food, offering new opportunities for economic growth as well as food and energy security.

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