Bio Fuel

Shell Ends Algae Biofuel Research

Shell Ends Algae Biofuel Research

Algae biofuels have been one of several beacons of hope for those looking to reduce or end our dependence on oil. In fact last year the DOE gave $24 million to a partnership between Shell Oil and HR Biopetroleum for reseach in algae biofuels.

Now it seems that Shell has dropped that direction of research stating that “In keeping with Shell’s portfolio approach to the research, development and commercialization of advanced biofuels, this decision will allow Shell to focus on other options that have shown a better fit with Shell’s biofuel portfolio and strategy.”

With a major player like Shell deeming algae-based biofuels a dead-end, does that mean that the algae biofuel dream is dead? Not necessarily. These does seem like the nail in the coffin of lipid-based algae biofuels that require the process of separating the algae from the fuel. The conversion of Algae to ethanol may still prove to be a viable alternative fuel production method for the foreseeable future.

View Comments (2)


  1. anonymous

    February 3, 2011 at 9:33 am

    When is Big Oil going to stop investing in ALGAE RESEARCH? When is Big Oil going to stop using the DOE and NREL (taxpayer money)for RESEARCH that has been going on for 50 years at universities?

    “Major University Admits Hard Science
    Problems Relating to Algae Have Been Solved

    Arizona State University Senior Vice President Rick Shangraw recenty said “…algae will “deliver soon” because…most of the hard science problems science problems regarding algae have been solved… Now…it’s largely an engineering problem.”

    When Big Oil looks at the high costs of drilling offshore and high costs of drilling in the Canadian Sands, they will be investing heavily in algae production.”

    Spending taxpayer money on ALGAE RESEARCH without commercial-scale production is a waste of money. (ie, BP – Berkeley)

  2. Kyle

    May 4, 2011 at 8:18 am

    What are they doing with the 24 million?

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