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
Stavanger, Norway-based Skretting, a 100+ year-old leader in the manufacture and supply of aquaculture feeds for fish and shrimp, has announced that they are now offering...
Dr. Tom Dempster works as a research professor – focusing on strain selection and development, biomass production, algal biofuels and high-value products, and air and was...
Tom Lindfors writes in the New Richmond News about how the Roberts, Wisconsin, wastewater treatment plant – considered a minor utility designed to treat an average flow o...
Portuguese microalgae producer, Allmicroalgae Natural Products S.A., has moved to the next stage in development of new production technologies to grow Nannochloropsis oce...
The Energy Department (DOE) has announced the selection of six projects for up to $12.9 million in federal funding, entitled, “Project Definition for Pilot- and Demonstra...
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii-based Cellana, Inc., a leading developer of algae-based products for sustainable nutrition and energy applications, and Living Ink Technologies of Den...