DOE to award up to $25M for algae fuels

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Department of Energy today said it would make up to $25 million available to spur the development of low-cost algae biofuels.

DOE said it anticipated awarding the funding to up to 10 algae projects, with the highest individual grant amount coming in at $10 million. Projects will be divided into two categories: the development of valuable byproducts and the development of ways to boost algae productivity.

Algae biofuels are thought to be attractive because most can be dropped directly into existing fuel infrastructure, unlike ethanol, which is blended into petroleum gasoline typically in small amounts. They also yield larger greenhouse gas savings than conventional ethanol.

In the funding announcement, DOE said its goal is to reduce the cost of algae-derived biofuels to under $5 per gasoline gallon equivalent by 2019 and to as low as $3 per gallon by 2030.

But first, “barriers related to algae cultivation, harvesting, and conversion to fuels and products need to be overcome,” DOE said.

DOE will accept applications until Dec. 15.