UK to fund commercialization of algae oil production

By Ryan C. Christiansen | October 14, 2008
Web exclusive posted Oct. 29, 2008 at 10:09 a.m. CST

The U.K. government has committed between $4.7 million and $8.4 million in initial funding for the Algae Biofuels Challenge, an initiative to accelerate the commercialization of algae oil production as a feedstock for producing biodiesel.

The project will fund grants to help researchers identify and develop strains of microalgae for maximum oil content and biomass yield, maximum solar conversion efficiency and sustained cultivation, and for the design and engineering of mass-culture systems. The project will further fund construction of demonstration-scale plants, which will likely be located in a tropical or sub-tropical climate. The ultimate goal is to begin using algae oil-based biodiesel as a substitute for petroleum diesel by 2020.

The Algae Biofuels Challenge is managed by The Carbon Trust, an independent company in the U.K. that is funded by the Department for Energy and Climate Change, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and Invest Northern Ireland. The U.K. Department of Transportation also announced that it will contribute funding.
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