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Dr. Mayfield on Biofuels

July 16, 2016

Kate Sequeira produced this video interview with UCSD biology professor Stephen Mayfield for the San Diego Union Tribune. Dr. Mayfield has spent the past 25 years experimenting with algae, and now focuses on extracting crude oil from green algae to create biofuel. “When petroleum’s expensive, we invest in alternative fuels, alternative energy, but when the price goes down, we stop investing in those things,” he says.

The company founded in his lab, Sapphire Energy, has recently begun working with omega-3 fatty acids because of the drop in oil prices. “What we should do is just make a consistent investment in renewable energy,” he said. “Everybody knows we need it; everybody knows that the price of oil has continued to go up, but it’s very hard to get voters to agree to invest in research and development in biofuels when gasoline is $2 a gallon.”

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