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Current Status of Algae Fuels from Market Watch

March 25th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Energy-Companies, Algae-Fuel-Research

There are no industrial-scale, algae-to-fuel operations up and running, but that may soon change as several companies jockey for position in this emerging biofuel category.

Algenol Biofuels was born four years ago with $70 million in private funding. It won a $25 million grant from the government to help it use seawater to grow algae at a site in Freeport, Texas, plus $10 million from Lee County, Fla., to build a new research facility there. Algenol has partnerships with Dow Chemical Co.and the Linde Group gas company.

Sapphire Energy Inc. has raised more than $100 million in venture-capital investment, including money from Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates. The company plans to break ground in September on an algae-fuel plant in New Mexico with a $50 million grant from the Energy Department.

Solix Biofuels Inc. traces its origin to the Energy Department’s Aquatic Species Program of 1978 to explore production of biodiesel from algae. In July 2009, it launched its Coyote Gulf demonstration facility in southwestern Colorado through an alliance with the Southern Ute Native American tribe. Valero Energy Corp. is listed as a partner.

Solazyme Inc. has a plan to provide 20,000 gallons of marine fuel and 1,500 gallons of jet fuel to the U.S. Navy. It’s working with Unilever PLC on algae-based, personal-care products. It also received a $22 million federal grant from the Energy Department to build a biorefinery in Riverside, Pa. Investors in the firm include Braemar Energy Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

See more: Market Watch

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