## DOE announces intent for funding to improve bioenergy feedstocks and optimize production of biofuels and biochemicals

##### 16 December 2022

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) announced its intent to issue two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) in early 2023. These potential FOAs—“Reducing Agricultural Carbon Intensity and Protecting Algal Crops (RACIPAC)” and the “2023 Conversion R&D”—will enable the sustainable use of domestic biomass and waste resources to... Read more →

## DOE to award up to $19M to advance waste carbon utilization for algal biofuels and bioproducts ##### 12 February 2022 The US Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management’s (FECM’s) Carbon Utilization Program (CUP) announced up to$19 million in federal funding for the advancement of technologies that utilize waste carbon... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), in collaboration with the Algae Foundation and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, announced a new AlgaePrize competition for high school through graduate students studying at a US-based high school, college, community college, university, and/or graduate school. Student teams will compete... Read more →

## Viridos executes agreement with ExxonMobil to help scale algae biofuels toward commercial levels

##### 22 November 2021

Viridos Inc., earlier known as Synthetic Genomics, has signed a joint development agreement with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE) with the intent to bring Viridos’ low-carbon intensity algae biofuels toward commercial levels. In 2009, EMRE launched what it calls a “significant” new program to research and develop advanced biofuels... Read more →

## DOE’s BETO releases notice of intent to scale-up biofuel and bioproduct refineries; focus on trucking, aviation, marine industries

##### 30 October 2021

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has published a notice of intent (DE-FOA-0002637) to issue a second “Scale-Up” Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) (DE-FOA-0002638). This FOA, funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO), will aim to accelerate the scale-up of biofuel and bioproduct biorefineries.... Read more →

## TotalEnergies and Veolia partner to develop CO2-based microalgae cultivation to produce next-generation biofuels

##### 07 July 2021

TotalEnergies and Veolia are partnering to accelerate the development of microalgae cultivation using CO2. The two will pool their know-how to develop a four-year research project at the La Mède biorefinery, operated by TotalEnergies, with the long-term goal of producing biofuel. Microalgae use sunlight and CO2 from the atmosphere or... Read more →

## Japan Airlines conducts first flight with blend of two different types of SAF

##### 21 June 2021

Japan Airlines (JAL) has conducted the first flight with a mixture of two different types of SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) produced domestically in Japan. As a first step forward the commercialization of domestically-produced SAF around 2030, SAF produced at the demonstration plants has now passed the quality inspection and became... Read more →

A team of researchers led by Loretta Roberson, associate scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, has installed the first seaweed farm in Puerto Rico and US tropical waters. The research array furthers the design and development of a system for offshore cultivation of tropical seaweeds to support large-scale... Read more →

Scientists at the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies on Santa Catalina Island, working with private industry, report that a new aquaculture technique on the California coast significantly increases kelp growth, yielding four times more biomass than natural processes. The researchers used a depth-cycling approach—i.e., physically moving the macroalgae between... Read more →

## DOE to award $35M for bioenergy feedstock and algae R&D ##### 11 December 2020 The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to$35 million in funding for bioenergy feedstock technologies and algae research and development. (DE-FOA-0002423) Topic Areas ins the FOA support DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office’s (BETO’s) objectives to reduce the minimum selling price of drop-in biofuels, lower the cost of biopower, and... Read more →

Researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK and Harbin Institute of Technology in China have built tiny droplet-based algal factories that produce hydrogen, instead of oxygen, when exposed to daylight in air. An open-access paper on their work is published in Nature Communications. Normally, algal cells fix carbon... Read more →

As part of a three-year project led by the US Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center (ERDC) to mitigate growth of toxic algae blooms, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is investigating these blooms as a viable source of biocrude fuel and fertilizer. One year into the ERDC project,... Read more →

## DOE awards $97M to 33 bioenergy research and development projects ##### 01 August 2020 The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced more than$97 million in funding for 33 projects that will support high-impact technology research and development to accelerate the bioeconomy. These projects will improve the performance and lower the cost and risk of technologies that can be used to produce biofuels, biopower,... Read more →

Up to now, algae has provided invaluable nutrition in the health food sector but has struggled to be competitive against petroleum-derived chemical production. Algae is favorable to petroleum from an environmental standpoint but the production cost of culturing, collecting, extracting and refining adds up to make it too expensive for... Read more →

## ASTM approves 7th annex to D7566 sustainable jet fuel specification: HC-HEFA

##### 14 May 2020

ASTM International has approved and published a seventh annex to D7566, the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) specification, with support from the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI). In February 2020, ASTM International approved and published the sixth annex to D7566, establishing criteria for the production and use of catalytic hydrothermolysis... Read more →

Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego and their colleagues have designed 3D-printed, coral-inspired structures capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The National Science Foundation-funded work, reported in an open-access paper in the journal Nature Communications,... Read more →

Mazda continues to be involved in joint research projects and studies as part of an ongoing industry-academia-government collaboration to promote the wide-spread adoption of biofuels from microalgae growth. (Earlier post.) As part of its Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030 long-term technology development program, the company is committed to reducing its average Well-to-Wheel... Read more →

## DOE to award ~$96M for bioenergy research and development ##### 24 January 2020 The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to more than$96 million in funding (DE-FOA-0002203) for bioenergy research and development. Topic areas within this FOA will advance DOE’s Bioenergy Technology Office’s objectives of reducing the price of drop-in biofuels; lowering the cost of biopower; and enabling high-value products from... Read more →

New DNA analysis by a team from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the University of Arizona has revealed surprising genetic diversity in a bacterium that poses a persistent threat to the algae biofuels industry. With the evocative name Vampirovibrio chlorellavorus, the predatory pest sucks out the contents of the... Read more →

Researchers at the University of have developed an unusually rapid method to deliver cost-effective algal biocrude in large quantities using a specially-designed jet mixer. The new kind of jet mixer extracts lipids from algae with much less energy than the older extraction method, a key discovery that now puts this... Read more →

## PNNL-led project to boost productivity, lower cost of algae biofuels and bioproducts offering collaboration opportunities

##### 20 February 2019

The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is leading the DISCOVR (Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization and Verification) project to help find the best algae strains for biofuels and bioproducts to reduce the cost of producing bioenergy from algae feedstocks. Along with PNNL, Los Alamos National Laboratory,... Read more →

Japan-based biotechnology company euglena (earlier post) has completed the construction of its demonstration-scale biorefinery in Yokohama for the production of renewable jet and diesel fuels from algae and waste oil. The plant, which will use the Biofuels ISOCONVERSION process (earlier post) licensed by Chevron Lummus Global / ARA, will have... Read more →

## Tokyo Tech researchers ID enzyme that could boost algal biofuel production

##### 19 August 2018

Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology have identified an enzyme belonging to the glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) family as a promising target for increasing biofuel production from the red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae. Algae can store up large amounts of triacylglycerols (TAGs) under adverse conditions such as nitrogen deprivation. Understanding precisely how... Read more →

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, with colleagues at NREL and the University of Georgia report that a freshwater production strain of microalgae, Auxenochlorella protothecoides UTEX 25, is capable of directly degrading and utilizing non-food plant substrates, such as switchgrass, for cell growth. In addition, the use of plant substrates... Read more →

## New protocol to enhance photosynthetic production of hydrogen from green algae

##### 09 May 2018

A research group from the University of Turku, Finland, has developed a new protocol to deliver sustained hydrogen photoproduction in green algae under a train of strong white light pulses interrupted by longer dark phases. As reported in a paper in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, under the... Read more →

Benzene, an aromatic hydrocarbon, is a natural component of crude oil and is one of the elementary petrochemicals. It is used as a precursor to the manufacture of more complex chemicals, and, with a high octane number, is an important component of gasoline. Researchers at the University of Konstanz in... Read more →

## ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics algae biofuels program targets 10,000 barrels per day by 2025

##### 06 March 2018

ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics Inc. announced a new phase in their joint algae biofuel research program (earlier post) that could lead to the technical ability to produce 10,000 barrels of algae biofuel per day by 2025. The new phase of research includes an outdoor field study that will grow naturally... Read more →

Researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have demonstrated a novel integrated conversion process for algal biomass to produce fuel and chemical products of sufficient quality to be blend-ready feedstocks for further processing. A paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Green Chemistry. Biomass from the... Read more →

## Joint ASU, Tel Aviv Univ. project to improve algal hydrogen production to industrial scale

##### 13 November 2017

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $400,000 grant (Nº 1706960) to Arizona State University and Kevin Redding, professor in the School of Molecular Sciences and director of the Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis (CB&P) to obtain industrial-scale algal hydrogen production—a goal that requires an improvement over current technology by... Read more → Researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have been awarded$5.7 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) Program for two projects that develop tools and technology to advance the mass production of seaweed for biofuels and bio-based chemicals.... Read more →

## WSU, PNNL researchers convert algal biofuel waste from hydrothermal liquefaction into commodity using anaerobes; sewage sludge next

##### 08 October 2017

Researchers at Washington State University and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have devised a method of converting a waste product generated by the conversion of algae into bio-crude into a usable and valuable commodity. The results of the team’s research are published in the journal Bioresource Technology. Converting algae to biofuels... Read more →

## J. Craig Venter Institute-led team awarded $10.7M by DOE to boost lipid production in diatoms for next-gen biofuels and bioproducts ##### 04 October 2017 Scientists led by the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), a not-for-profit genomic research organization, were recently awarded a 5-year,$10.7-million grant by the United States Department of Energy, Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research (BER), BER Genomic Science Program to optimize metabolic networks in model photosynthetic microalgae, called diatoms.... Read more →

Researchers from Boyce Thompson Institute and Texas A&M University have developed algal droplet bioreactors on a chip that can accelerate the search for optimized algal strains for the production of biofuels. The new high-throughput droplet microfluidics-based screening platform can analyze growth and lipid content in populations derived from single cells... Read more →

## French team finds light-driven algal enzyme that converts fatty acids to hydrocarbons

##### 01 September 2017

A team of researchers in France has discovered an algal photoenzyme that catalyzes the decarboxylation of free fatty acids to n-alkanes or -alkenes in response to blue light. In a paper in the journal Science, the researchers suggest that the photoenzyme, which they named fatty acid photodecarboxylase, may be useful... Read more →

## HelioBioSys, Sandia Labs, Berkeley Lab partnering on sugar-producing cyanobacteria for biofuel production

##### 28 August 2017

HelioBioSys has patented a group of three marine cyanobacteria that, when grown together, can produce high quantities of sugar just right for making biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories is helping HelioBioSys Inc. learn whether farming them on a large scale would be successful. Until the early 1900s, cyanobacteria were mistaken for... Read more →

## Researchers develop cheaper, greener biofuels processing catalyst using waste metals and bacteria

##### 25 August 2017

A team from the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, with colleagues from the University of Birmingham and Aarhus University, have developed a nanosized bio-Pd/C catalyst for upgrading algal bio-oil. Published in an open-access paper in the journal Fuel, their findings point to a cheaper, more environmentally friendly... Read more →

## New biofilm reactor accelerates algae growth

##### 25 July 2017

Washington State University (WSU) researchers have developed a unique biofilm reactor that recycles gasses and uses less water and lower light than typical reactors. The new reactor grows algae more efficiently—in days instead of weeks—and makes the algae more viable for several industries, including biofuels. The main fatty acids produced... Read more →

## ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics double lipid production in algae species without inhibiting growth

##### 20 June 2017

ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics Inc. reported a breakthrough in their joint research (earlier post) into advanced biofuels involving the modification of an algae strain that more than doubled its oil content without significantly inhibiting the strain’s growth. Using advanced cell engineering technologies at Synthetic Genomics, the ExxonMobil-Synthetic Genomics research team... Read more →

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with colleagues from Los Alamos, Sandia and NREL, are working to lower the cost of producing biofuels from algae. The project, called the Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization, and Validation Research (DISCOVR), is funded by the Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) and has created... Read more →

## Researchers uncover mechanism behind oil synthesis in algae

##### 20 April 2017

Researchers led by a team from Kobe University in Japan have revealed the mechanism behind oil synthesis within microalgae cells. Many species of algae are capable of producing large amounts of oil (lipids), but this is the first time that researchers have captured the metabolic changes occurring on a molecular... Read more →

## Synthetic Genomics and ExxonMobil renew algae biofuels research agreement

##### 19 January 2017

Synthetic Genomics and ExxonMobil have extended their agreement to conduct joint research into advanced algae biofuels after making significant progress in understanding algae genetics, growth characteristics and increasing oil production. ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics have been jointly researching and developing oil from algae for use as a renewable, lower-emission alternative... Read more →