• 4 minutes End of Sanction Waivers
  • 8 minutes Balancing Act---Sanctions, Venezuela, Trade War and Demand
  • 11 minutes Mueller Report Brings Into Focus Obama's Attempted Coup Against Trump
  • 14 minutes What Would Happen If the World Ran Out of Crude Oil?
  • 6 hours Permafrost Melting Will Cost Us $70 Trillion
  • 10 hours New German Study Shocks Electric Cars: “Considerably” Worse For Climate Than Diesel Cars, Up To 25% More CO2
  • 7 hours UNCONFIRMED : US airstrikes target 32 oil tankers near Syria’s Deir al-Zor
  • 8 hours Nothing Better than Li-Ion on the Horizon
  • 7 hours Russia To Start Deliveries Of S-400 To Turkey In July
  • 19 hours Occidental Offers To Buy Anadarko In $57 Billion Deal, Topping Chevron
  • 3 hours At Kim-Putin Summit: Theater For Two
  • 19 hours Facebook Analysts Expect Earnings Will Reinforce Rebound
  • 3 hours NAFTA, a view from Mexico: 'Don't Shoot Yourself In The Foot'
  • 7 hours How many drilling sites are left in the Permian?
  • 11 hours ..
  • 1 day Countries with the most oil and where they're selling it
  • 1 day Iran Sabre Rattles Over the Straights of Hormuz
James Stafford

James Stafford

James Stafford is the Editor of Oilprice.com

More Info

Algae Creeps Slowly Towards Viability

Right now algae is simply too expensive to produce—and the process uses more energy than we get back. But by around 2017, with more money being dumped into research, we should start seeing enough advances to close the cost gap. For the Obama administration, 2022 is the Year of Algae—the year it hopes to see commercial viability. We’re not entirely convinced of the timeframe, but we’re giving algae the benefit of the doubt—for now, especially since it has plenty of commercial applications beyond fuel.  

Politically, algae is a sore topic. The right uses it against the left, setting algae up as the butt of all manner of jokes. But the Obama administration has a thing for algae, and that translates into dollars to further the research necessary to catapult algae into the economically viable biofuels playing field. In fact, earlier this month, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced $16.5 million in support for the development of algae biofuels.

So that’s the politics. Let’s look at the realities of algae as a biofuel.

 The potential is more amazing that one would think, though it’s still prohibitively expensive and cannot yet be produced commercially anywhere in the world. While corn can grow up to 8 tons of biomass per acre, algae can grow up to 40 tons of biomass per acre, according to Green Plains Renewable Energy CEO Todd Becker. But this is just the potential.

While algae is already…




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News