Algae fuel in the United States

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Algae fuel in the United States, as with other countries, is under study as a source of biofuel.


The Aquatic Species Program launched in 1978 was research program funded by the U.S. DoE, tasked with investigating the use of algae for the production of energy. The program initially focused efforts on the production of hydrogen, however, shifted primary research to studying oil production in 1982. From 1982 through its culmination, the majority of the program research was focused on the production of transportation fuels, notably biodiesel, from algae. In 1995, as part of the over-all efforts to lower budget demands, the DoE decided to end the program. Research stopped in 1996 and staff began compiling their research for publication.


Universities working on oil from algae include

Researchers at the Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) of the University of Kentucky are currently developing the algae-mediated conversion of coal-fired power plant flue gas to drop-in hydrocarbon fuel. Through their work, these researchers have proven that the carbon dioxide within flue gas from coal-fired power plants can be captured using algae, which can subsequently harvested and utilized, e.g. as a feedstock for the production of drop-in hydrocarbon fuels.

Use of wastewater[edit]

At the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution the wastewater from domestic and industrial sources contain rich organic compounds that are being used to accelerate the growth of algae.[6]

Also the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering of the University of Georgia is exploring microalgal biomass production using industrial wastewater.[7]

Algaewheel, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, presented a proposal to build a facility in Cedar Lake, Indiana that uses algae to treat municipal wastewater and uses the sludge byproduct to produce biofuel.[8][9]


The National Algae Association (NAA) is a non-profit organization of algae researchers, algae production companies and the investment community who share the goal of commercializing algae oil as an alternative feedstock for the biofuels markets. The NAA gives its members a forum to efficiently evaluate various algae technologies for potential early stage company opportunities.

See also[edit]


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