02/15/2012

The USA invests in algae

The US Department of Energy will establish partnerships with private investors and universities for the development of biofuels from algae.

The United States Department of Energy is planning on investing in biofuel production from algae. The DOE aims at developing a comprehensive system for the production of fuel oil from algae. Also, it will take action at an institutional level with the aim of allowing algae producers for the energy sector to easily enter the biofuel market. In order to develop and promote this technology, the DOE has entered into partnerships with private investors, with the University of Southern California and with the Idaho National Laboratory.

Some of the most remarkable advantages of biofuel production from algae are its high productivity and the possibility to use it in carbon capture and storage processes. Also, compared with other sources for biofuel production, it will not be criticized by those who believe that biofuels threaten the use of land where food crops can be cultivated.

The Enel Group plays a leading role, at an International level, in the development of technologies allowing to use harness for energy purposes.

After the first experimental phase, the research centre that subsidiary Endesa manages at the Litoral plant in Almeria, an industrial testing project has now been launched, aimed at using micro-algae in carbon capture and storage, with a 3.5 million euro budget.

While this project is being developed in Almeria, experiments continue at Enel's Research Centre at the "Federico II" plant in Brindisi.Here, besides the CCS pilot plant,technological innovation aims at developing a fish chain, planning on creating fish food as a product obtained from algae.

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