Second generation algal biofuel

  • The shipping industry contributes 3-4% of global greenhouse gas emissions and coupled with volatile oil prices, alternative fuels are an attractive proposition.
  • US based Solazyme has developed one such substitute – fast growing crop and forest waste fed algae that produce oil in fermentation tanks.
  • The world’s two largest shipping fleets and consequently foremost consumers of highly polluting bunker fuel have begun running test ships in what will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% through CO2 sequestration by the algae and a reduction in emissions when burned. One operator is aiming for 10% of its fleet to be powered by algal derived fuel by 2020.
  • This could indicate the start of a major shift away from the provision of energy by fossil fuels which would serve as a blueprint for other operators within the shipping industry.

Widespread adoption could serve to cut emissions significantly. However, government may wish to balance the benefits of  widespread adoption with issues regarding feedstock availability. Land use and CO2 emissions throughout the  feed-stock supply chain may need consideration.

For more information, visit:

This entry was posted in Economy and Industry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Second generation algal biofuel

  1. Dr M C Smith says:

    Plus there are also obvious logistical issues associated with a global industry like shipping – i.e. any new fuel needs to be available in any port around the world, engineers will need training and spare parts made available etc before it can be taken up, which will all require international agreements and protocols etc.

    As an aside though, is it reasonable for policy makers to expect science to find solutions to the earths problems when many would argue the application of science is the route cause of many of these problems?…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s