December 12, 2012

Can Algae-Derived Oils Support Large-Scale, Low-Cost Biofuels Production?

ExxonMobil and many other energy companies are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to develop transportation biofuels from renewable resources such as the oil or hydrocarbons produced by microalgae. As global supplies of fossil fuels continue to shrink, biofuels derived from algae represent one promising source of low-cost, scalable renewable energy. The feasibility and economic projections for large-scale biofuels production from microalgae are examined in a Review article and accompanying Commentary published in Disruptive Science and Technology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The articles are available on the Disruptive Science and Technology website.

Microalgae are single-celled organisms that can be grown in open ponds, tubes, or bags, with just sunlight and carbon dioxide, or in the dark and fed sugars or starches. They can be genetically modified to optimize their productivity.