Algal Biomass Organization: Statement on Use of Algae Fuel in Great Green Fleet Demonstration

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On July 18th the U.S. Navy began its Green Fleet demonstrations in Hawaii–the largest display of biofueled naval power yet. Biofuels derived from a variety of sources, including algae, will be used in U.S. ships and aircraft as part of the Navy’s effort to reduce its reliance on imported oil. In support of the demonstrations, Mary Rosenthal, executive director of the Algal Biomass Organization, issued the following statement.

“The Algal Biomass Organization congratulates the U.S. Navy on its use of domestically-produced fuels made from algae as part of its continued testing program for biofuels. Today’s successful demonstration of the “Great Green Fleet” at the Rim of the Pacific Exercise is the latest in a series of tests by the Navy and other major players that show that algae-based fuels can perform the same, or better, than petroleum fuels.

Fuels made from algae are made in the U.S.A, are 100-percent compatible with existing infrastructure, and in the near future, will be price-competitive with petroleum. By developing domestic alternatives to petroleum, the U.S. algae industry is helping reducing our reliance on imported oil, creating manufacturing jobs in rural communities, and strengthening our national security.

Source: Algae Biomass Organisation



  1. I am told that algal growth rates can be very fast in the right conditions, and that this means high efficiency compared with other methods which essentially use the sun to capture energy through photosynthesis, such as bio-crops. Is that correct? Also, algal energy won’t rob the world of food and push up corn prices either, will it? Thanks.

  2. Hi Steve,
    talking about growing algae autotrophically (using photosynthesis) they should be able to outcompete other crops by biomass yield per squaremeter. This does of course depend on growing system, species, fertilizer, sunlight, CO2 supply and other factors. But there still are different opinions on that. Some algae species can be grown heterotrophically, being fed with sugar or other organic compounds. This is an option to get very high biomass yields and a high lipid content. But sugar has to be produced by using e.g. sugarcane, until we have a solution like enzymatic degradation of lignocellulose. So there is the point of food vs. fuel again.
    To cut a long story short: As algae do have a high potential in combined production of protein and lipids I think it may be possible to kill two birds with one stone – produce food AND fuel. And we have just started to understand the potential algae holds…

  3. THE NAVY NEEDS TO DO SOME DUE DILIGENCE ON THE DOE. They claim over $2.5 billion has been spent by US tax payers with NOTHING commercialized to date by any algae researcher. They also claim, less than 20% of all algae research projects ever get completed. Would like to know how the NAVY is going to grow, harvest and extract algae? Who is going to produce the algae oil?


    Solydra story is opening a huge can of worms at the DOE GRANT AND LOAN GURANTEE LOAN PROGRAM. Its not just about the Solar loan guarantee program. Look at all the millions in fees collected by the DOE GRANT AND LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM with algae projects less than 20% completed. An audit needs to be done on all DOE Biomass Program Grants to algae researchers.

    The US taxpayer has spent over $2.5 billion dollars over the last 50 years on algae research. To date, nothing has been commercialized by any algae researcher.

    The REAL question is: Does the DOE BIOMASS PROGRAM really want the US off of foreign oil or do they want to continue funding more grants for algae research to keep algae researchers employed at universities for another 50 years?

    In business, you are not given 50 years to research anything. The problem is in the Congressional Mandate that says the DOE can only use taxpayer monies on algae research, NOT algae production in the US. So far, algae research has not got the US off of foreign oil for the last 50 years!

    A Concerned Taxpayer

    ARPA-E halts algae project, citing missed milestones
    Jim Lane | February 16, 2012
    Share”In Washington, the DOE has halted a research project at Iowa State University funded by ARPA-E to develop biofuel feedstock from an aquatic micro-organism for failing to reach research milestones. About 56% of the $4.4 million grant was used. Politicians against increasing APRA-E funding as proposed by President Obama’s new budget are using it and other halted ARPA-E projects as examples to reject the program.”

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