The Department of Energy is licking its lips at the prospect of finding a way to turn algae into biofuel in a financially viable way so they have just invested $25 million to spur that research on.
Algue biofuels have represented a bit of a holy grail to the biofuel industry as it can yield 100 times more biofuel per acre than land-based sources like soy or corn. While this sounds nice, the cost of harvesting and using currently makes algae farming for biofuel cost-prohibitive.
Six of the DOE’s $25 million will go to an Arizona State University team who will be looking at the best ways to use algae biofuels. A University of California, San Diego will get $9 million to work on developing algae strains that are best for biofuel. The remaining money will go to Cellana, LLC and their work on developing large-scale production processes.