Firm to Make ‘Biocrude’ Fuel from Algae

LiveFuels Inc. has announced it will fund projects at Sandia National
Laboratories designed to economically produce “biocrude,” biodiesel fuel
from algae by 2010.

Oil from algae reportedly can be grown on land unsuitable for
food crops, and even in brackish water. LiveFuels claims that all U.S.
oil imports could be replaced by biocrude grown on 20 to 40 million
acres of marginal lands that exist here. Desert land also could grow
algae, utilizing farm waste and carbon dioxide from factories to help
speed its growth.

With an oil-per-acre production rate 250 times the amount of
soybeans, algae offers the highest known yield for biodiesel. LiveFuels
said the petroleum we use now comes from ancient biomass, including
algae, which took millions of years to form. The challenge will be
growing and transforming algae cheaply into biocrude quickly and
economically.

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