Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Solazyme's Algae Fuel

The United States is on the hunt for a way to lower their dependency on foreign oil. Now they appear to be closer than ever by using genetically modified algae as a new source for domestically produced fuels. The company, Solazyme, has managed to condense the naturally occurring algae-to-oil process down to just three days. They place their bioengineered algae into massive tanks and feed them with sugar cane, switch grass, and other plants. The algae's energy is transformed into a versatile oil that can be refined and used as jet fuel, diesel, cooking oil, and more.

Just how much attention is Solazyme getting for this? Well in September the US Navy ordered more than 150,000 gallons of jet fuel for testing purposes. Furthermore, they received a $21.8 million grant from the US Department of Energy to build a new refinery. The US military hopes to run 50 percent of its fleet on a mixture of renewable fuels and nuclear power by 2020. The US Navy has already tested the fuel on part of its fleet and have released promising results. They plan to test their entire non-nuclear fleet by the end of 2012. Below you can view some of the companies recent news coverage on MSNBC:

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