Ford Is Researching Algae As Alternative Biofuel

Posted Oct 4, 2010

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) researchers is exploring algae as an alternative biofuel. The House of Representatives passed the Green Jobs Act of 2010 this past year. The Act offers investment tax credits for algae-based bio-refineries.

“Algae have some very desirable characteristics as a potential biofuel feedstock and Ford wants to show its support any efforts that could lead to a viable, commercial-scale application of this technology,” stated Ford research scientist Sherry Mueller. “At this point, algae researchers are still challenged to find economical and sustainable ways for commercial-scale controlled production and culturing of high oil-producing algae.”

There are certain species of algae that can convert carbon dioxide to oil and other cell components using photosynthesis. Algae can even be grown almost anywhere despite different water conditions. Algae can also be grown all year long. To a certain extent, this makes it easier to use algae as an alternative biofuel than soybeans and corn.

Ford researchers visited the National Biofuels Energy Laboratory at Wayne State University in Detroit to observe an algae experiment that they are working on. The Lab is looking at suitable algae strains that can used as a feedstock for biodiesel according to CNET.