Cultivating Clean Energy: The Promise of Algae Biofuels
"The algae biofuels industry is comprised of many pathways to produce fuels from algae and is developing rapidly, with most companies operating in "stealth" mode. This makes measuring progress toward the promise of algae extremely difficult. Given the thousands of different algal strains, multitude of cultivation and harvest methods, wide range of algae products, and host of technologies used to convert these products into different transportation fuels, algae-based biofuels make up a broad and difficult-to-categorize family of technologies and production pathways. Furthermore, algal technologies are evolving rapidly. Worldwide investments in algae were $32 million in 2007 and surpassed the $300-million-dollar mark in 2008; Sapphire Energy led with a $100 million dollar investment in research and development from Bill Gates. Today, more than 50 companies have received funding to focus on algae fuels."