Can PACE Project Drive Algal Biofuels to Marketability?
(Algae Industry Magazine) Dr. Richard Sayre, a scientist in the Bioenergy and Biome Sciences group at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the New Mexico Consortium, writes in the Santa Fe New Mexican about a new research project led by Los Alamos National Laboratory that seeks to drive algal biofuels to marketability.
Having proved themselves in car motors and jet engines, Dr.Sayre writes, algal biofuels may work best for aviation because their high energy density far outperforms that of batteries, which are too heavy to power an aircraft. As an added benefit, the industry can also create valuable goods from algae, while livestock and fish can eat the biomass left over from harvesting and refining.
Several years ago, these performance qualities and environmental benefits persuaded the U.S. Department of Energy to fund research into the real-world viability of algal biofuel. Led by Los Alamos, a consortium identified the best alga strain and the best cultivation and harvesting methods. The consortium also modeled the economics, from cultivating algae in ponds and tanks to producing fuel from refineries.
The conclusion? Algae-based biofuels are feasible. First, however, the estimated cost of $8 a gallon for algal gasoline has to come down. That will happen through research resulting in improvements to algae productivity, the cultivation process and harvesting. READ MORE and MORE (Santa Fe New Mexican)