Articles tagged with "Solazyme"
While it may be way too early to declare a final winner in the race to find replacement renewable liquid fuels for the jet fuel and diesel that power so many of the vehicles in the world, there are some indications as to the technology that just might end up coming out ahead.
The results starting to appear also show that sometimes there is a disconnect between what the Government wants and considers possible, and the real world. The concern over climate change (not peak oil) led many governments around the world to mandate that propulsion fuels include a growing percentage generated from a renewable source. Six years ago I was in St Louis for the Renewable Energy Conference with its great emphasis on cellulosic ethanol. President Bush came to bless the endeavor, and much was made of it being the time to start building plants. A short while thereafter, I started looking into the generation of biodiesel from algae, and brought up the logical suggestion, to me, of growing it underground. (That idea still gains me the occasional pat on the head). Some of the early reviews of the technology were not good, but nevertheless, the Defense Advances Research Projects Agency began funding the development of algae, particularly as a source for jet fuel.
Time passed, and the development of the new fuels took quite different paths. In order to encourage the change to renewable fuels, the EPA mandated that motor fuel include 100 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2009, 250 million in 2010, and 500 million by 2013. (This is on the way to a target of around 2 mbd by 2022.) Some of the original companies to seize on this opportunity started out with too great an ambition. Range Fuels, after some $156 million of Government loans from the Bush Administration, closed its doors this past year, unable to make the product it had promised. When it became obvious that the initial targets would not be met the mandated volumes were lowered, so that this year, for example, the industry target is 8.5 million gallons. But still the Government will fine companies, for not using a fuel that doesn’t yet exist in the volumes needed to meet those quotas.