The promise of algae fuels seems to good to be true, and now we're seeing that it just might be. Algae's ability to grow extremely fast, on small areas of land, and produce huge amounts of bio-diesel per acre has been touted a lot. But now, one of the sector's leaders, GreenFuels, has gone bust.
Not only were they unable to raise a third round of funding, but they couldn't deliver on their first contract because of technical glitches in their bio-reactor algae growth process.
GreenFuels' process is very similar to the processes being used by lots of other algae fuel startups, and this news has got a lot of people questioning whether algae fuel is a truly viable technology. But there are other algae companies, like Solazyme, that use completely different technologies.
In any case, I'm suddenly feeling a lot less excited about algae bio-diesel, especially with good news continuing to flow out of the cellulosic ethanol and electric battery fields.
written by Tim, May 14, 2009
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