According to the American Security Project, biofuels developed from algal-based feedstocks are gaining traction as a cost-effective fuel alternative. Not only is algae fast-growing and produces more plant oils that other conventional biofuel feedstocks – production of algae does not compete with food production systems either, since production can be facilitated in waste water and doesn’t require the availability of arable land.
Algal biofuels research and development is currently supported by the Department of Energy, Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and Department of Agriculture. ARPA-E has funded at least two algal biofuel projects in FY2011 through its Plants Engineered to Replace Oil (PETRO) program, and two others with ARRA stimulus grants. Recently the Navy invested $12 million in procuring advanced algal biofuels. Find out more about federally supported algal biofuel projects by searching the Tracker‘s free text search field for ‘Algae.’