The Buzz

ABO Challenges RAND Military Biofuels Report

January 25, 2011
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

On January 25, 2011 the RAND Corporation issued a press release and published a study calling into question the effectiveness of renewable fuels, including those made from algae, for military use. This report, which the Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) considers inaccurate, could have a chilling effect on support for biofuels in general, and algae in particular.

In canvassing their members and other players in the algae-to-fuel space, it appears to ABO that researchers from RAND did not reach out to the leading companies in the industry. “We believe researchers relied on outdated or incomplete information, potentially skewing their recommendations,” says Mary Rosenthal of the ABO.

How you can help: If you’re in the industry (algae, aviation, biofuels, etc.) and think you should have been contacted, and weren’t, please let ABO know. They are preparing a formal response to the report.

The report can be found here: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2011/RAND_MG969.pdf

A copy of the press release is here: http://www.rand.org/news/press/2011/01/25.html

ABO is still reviewing the actual report, but they have developed initial talking points that they are using with media and other concerned stakeholders. These have been posted on the ABO website and will be updated after consultation with the board and a full review of the report.

ABO’s response:

  1. It is our understanding that researchers at RAND did not reach out to any of the leading algae companies. Given that most of the cutting edge algae-fuels research is taking place today in the private sector where companies rightly protect their intellectual property, and given that the industry has made significant progress in the past three years, we believe the report is likely based on outdated information. In our opinion, basing sweeping policy recommendations on such data is misguided if not reckless.
  2. The positioning of the entire US algae industry as a “research topic” is frankly both demeaning and patently false. We have more than 100 companies, academic institutions and national laboratories working to develop the algae-to-fuels industry.  Algae-derived fuels have already been tested and/or used in motor vehicles and commercial aircraft, and last fall’s successful test of a Navy Riverine Command boat showed that algae fuels are ready for use. It is unclear to us whether or not any actual “green” CTL fuels have been produced or tested.
  3. We believe algae commercialization is far closer than RAND suggests. A 2010 report by Greentech Media projected annual US production of 6 billion gallons of algae fuel by 2022. On the contrary, the RAND report calls the potential for commercial production of CTL fuels over the next decade “very limited.”
  4. We will continue to work on behalf of the US algae industry to inform policymakers of the true potential of algae-based fuels as a long term, viable source of renewable fuels for the military.
Copyright ©2010-2011 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

Visit the A.I.M. Archives

AIM interview ArchivesAlgae 101 ArchivesHot Products ArchivesInnovations ArchivesMoney ArchivesProcess ArchivesResearch ArchivesScale Up ArchivesThe Buzz Archives

FREE Algae News & Updates

Sign up to receive breaking A.I.M. updates!

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Jamie Radford writes in the Illawarra Mercury that Pia Winberg, from the University of Wollongong, believes that the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia (NSW) is in...
Gilbert, AZ-based Heliae has announced a partnership with Sincere Corporation, a Japanese waste management and recycling company, to form a joint venture and develop a co...
Algae Industry Magazine is pleased to announce a new Algae 101 series by our popular blogger, Mark Edwards, Professor, Arizona State University. The Algae Solutions to Na...
Starting in the early 70s, agencies in the former USSR invested more than 20,000 person-years of research and development to produce Bio-Algae Concentrates (BAC) that hel...
Algae manufacturer Cyanotech Corporation has announced implementing three major initiatives to improve Astaxanthin production at their Kailua Kona, Hawaii-based cultivati...
Perth, Western Australia-based Algae.Tec Limited has announced that the Reliance Group has converted the first tranche of options following the positive progress achieved...
Matthew Carr was recently named executive director of the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), the leading trade association for the algae industry. His presence will soon b...
Channelnewsasia.com reports on three young Spaniards who harvest seaweed, a culinary delicacy, as a way for them to stay out of Spain’s troubled financial waters. 35-year...
Phys.Org reports that scientists Jolanda Verspagen and Jef Huisman of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands have concluded that rising CO2 concentrations in the at...
The EPA has released the Annual Use of Pesticides in the U.S. Report. We now know that American farmers apply roughly a billion pounds of toxic chemicals intentionally in...
Using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are driving the life-and-death d...
Expanding from its initial work in algal biofuels, General Atomic’s (GA’s) Advanced Biological Processes team has focused on the rising need for food globally, specifical...
Portuguese cement facility, Secil, and microalgae biotechnology company, A4F, also based in Portugal, have formed AlgaFarm, a joint venture to develop the use of cement f...
Researchers at the Paul Scherer Institute (PSI) in Wädenswil, Switzerland, have succeeded in producing energy-rich gas from microalgae, and in doing so have demonstrated ...
James “Jamie” Levine took over the reigns at Sapphire Energy in July of this year as former President and CEO Cynthia “CJ” Warner stepped down, retaining her role as chai...
Algix, parent company of Solaplast, will be inaugurating their algae-to-plastic facility in Meridian, Mississippi, on November 14, 2014. Solaplast's facility will be focu...
Solazyme, Inc. and Versalis, the chemical subsidiary of Eni S.p.A., one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, today announced a partnership to expand the commerci...
Hortidaily.com reports that in Nevele, Belgium, Tomalgae is growing algae in a former tomato greenhouse. Their company was formed when tomato cultivation entrepreneurs Pi...