DOE Announces the 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review

[USA] Last week, the United States Department of Energy announced an update to the 2010 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review. The updated 2016 National Algal Biofuels Technology Review is a review of algal biofuels research at every step of the supply chain. It addresses several research areas highlighting advances, outlining unknowns, and discussing opportunities for advancement.

Domestic renewable energy provides potential solutions to priorities for the United States, such as decreasing dependence on foreign oil, revitalizing rural America by creating new jobs across many sectors of the economy, and reducing carbon emissions. Through strategic investments and close coordination with partners in industry, academia, national laboratories, and other agencies, DOE is committed to developing and demonstrating transformative and revolutionary bioenergy technologies for a sustainable nation.

Algae have significant potential to support an advanced biofuels industry. The goal of the BETO Advanced Algal Systems Program is to develop cost-effective algal biofuels production and logistics systems. The program focuses on supporting the growth of the emerging domestic algae industry and its interest in commercialization for fuels and products, specifically by reducing costs of production and ensuring the sustainability and availability of resources. DOE revived its investment in algal biofuels in 2009 in response to the increased urgency of lowering greenhouse gas emissions and producing affordable, reliable renewable energy, as well as the increasing recognition that we will not achieve these goals via any single technology pathway.

Since then, BETO has invested in a variety of research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) projects that tackle the most impactful barriers associated with the scaleup of commercial algal biofuels. BETO is proud of the progress of our partners, and has the pleasure of highlighting many of their projects within this review, along with the work of the broader research community.

The National Algal Biofuels Technology Review, as a summary of algal biofuels research and development to-date, serves as one reference to inform the implementation of the BETO strategy to achieve the vision of a thriving and sustainable bioeconomy fueled by innovative technologies. This review is intended to be a resource for researchers, engineers, and decision-makers by providing a summary of algal biofuel research progress to date and the challenges that could be addressed by future RD&D activities. We hope this review fosters and informs participation from all stakeholders as the next steps are taken to advancing an algal biofuels industry together.

DOE looks forward to continuing its work with diverse partners in the development of renewable energy options that provide the greatest benefits in the years to come.

Download the review here: National Algal Biofuels Technology Review


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