The Buzz

Ford Scientists to Explore Algae Biofuels

October 12, 2010
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Ford Motor Company scientists have announced that they are working to understand the suitability of algae as potential automotive biofuels. This effort is an integral part of Ford’s desire to better understand the use of biomass to produce future biofuels, as part of their overall strategy to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil and address climate change.

“Ford has a long history of developing vehicles that run on renewable fuels; and the increased use of biofuels is an important element of our sustainability strategy now and moving forward,” said Tim Wallington, technical leader with the Ford Systems Analytics and Environmental Sciences Department. “We look ahead from a technological, economic, environmental, and social standpoint at potential next-generation renewable fuels that could power our vehicles.”

This year, Ford researchers visited Wayne State University’s National Biofuels Energy Laboratory, which is actively analyzing suitable algae strains that could be used as a feedstock for biodiesel. The Ford researchers, part of the company’s Systems Analytics and Environmental Sciences Department, also have conducted in-house research on the opportunities and challenges of producing biodiesel from algae oil.

“Algae have some very desirable characteristics as a potential biofuel feedstock and Ford wants to show its support for any efforts that could lead to a viable, commercial-scale application of this technology,” said Sherry Mueller, Research Scientist, Ford Motor Company. “At this point, algae researchers are still challenged to find economical and sustainable ways for commercial-scale controlled production and culturing of high oil-producing algae.”

At Ford, algae is one of the possible future biofuels researchers are keeping a close eye on. Other bio-based solutions such as ethanol and butanol, ideally from cellulosic feedstocks are considered to have more near-term potential. “We recognize the important contribution that biofuels could make toward a more sustainable future and improved energy security,” said Jim Anderson, technical expert, Ford Motor Company. “Ford is very supportive of the increased availability of biofuels and biofuel blends from diverse and sustainable sources.”

Copyright ©2010 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.

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
On September 25, 2014, a photobioreactor for the cultivation of algae was officially unveiled during a seminar at Thomas More University College in Mechelen, Belgium. Und...
Fort Myers, FL-based Algenol has announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved fuels made from Algenol’s process as an advanced biofuel, meet...
Researchers Greg O’Neil of Western Washington University and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), have exploited an unusual and untapped class of c...
Don Willmott writes in Huffington Post about Nevada-based Algae Systems, which has built a test plant on Alabama's Mobile Bay to not only turn algae into diesel fuel but ...
Murdoch University researchers are investigating whether the effluent from piggeries can be effectively treated with micro- and macroalgae so that species of the organism...
While aquafarmers in Maine have been harvesting seaweed for nearly 80 years, for a variety of uses and products, in recent years wild harvests have not been able to meet ...
Melissae Fellet reports in Chemical & Engineering News that new materials containing ultraviolet-absorbing molecules found in algae and reef-fish mucus could serve as...
Astaxanthin has been widely used in the aquaculture industry for pigmentation of salmon, trout and shrimp; used for its antioxidant and other health benefits in the nutra...
Mark Harris writes in the Guardian about a pilot project in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where Dr. Peter Lammers, a professor in algal bioenergy at Arizona State University, a...
The Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built a one-of-a-kind technical facility for algae cultivation at the Ludwig Bölkow Campus in Ottobrunn, to the south of Muni...
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates over 200 million people worldwide are exposed to arsenic concentrations in drinking water that exceed the guideline limit of...
In a radical pivot, algal fuel pioneer Solazyme Inc. will be changing its name to TerraVia™ to reflect a new focus on food, nutrition and specialty ingredients. A pioneer...