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UK looks forward to produce 70 Billion litres of Biofuel Posted by Rumana on Mon March 22 2010 09:27:47 AM 1

Now it has been the UK's turn to focus on Algae Biodiesel on a very large scale with the Carbon Trust Initiative.

The Carbon Trust has announced plans to take on the world in the global race to develop a sustainable, cost-effective biofuel from algae.

The "dream team" of eleven leading UK institutions was unveiled who will work together with the Carbon Trust to find a winning formula for cultivating 70 billion litres of algae biofuel a year by 2030.

Starting from first principles of agriculture, thousands of strains of algae will be screened to find the winning few that can produce large quantities of a substance similar to vegetable oil.

Additional research will develop methods for enabling large-scale production in algae ponds and next year the Carbon Trust plans to start construction of a pilot demonstration plant in an equatorial region where algae are most productive.

With costs of algae biodiesel currently estimated to be approximately $5-$10 a litre, Carbon Trust is focussing on more cost-effective production methods to ultimately bring the cost down to less than $1 a litre.

Launching Europe's most significant public initiative into algae biofuels, Tom Delay chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: "We have pulled together a dream team of over 70 UK algae scientists who have the expert knowledge to turn algae into a British biofuel success story.

The Carbon Trust is investing ?8 million over 3 years into the projects using funding from the Department for Transport and the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Those universities and institutions selected to conduct the research are:

- University of Coventry

- London Queen Mary

- University of Manchester

- University of Newcastle (Supported on one project by Critical Processes Ltd)

- Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML)

- Scottish Association for Marine Science

- University of Sheffield

- University of Southampton

- University of Swansea (Supported by Bangor University and PML)

The research projects address five key challenges identified by the Carbon Trust:

1. Isolation and screening of algae strains

2. Maximising solar conversion efficiency

3. Achieving both high oil content and high productivity

4. Sustained algae cultivation in open ponds

5. Design & engineering of cost effective production systems