Good news for biofuels this week as the California Department of Labor awarded the San Diego Biofuels Initiative a $4 million grant to train workers to join the biofuels workforce. The award was given through the “Green Innovation Challenge,” a green jobs initiative that is overseen by the state’s Department of Labor.
SAN DIEGO — In a laboratory where almost all the test tubes look green, the tools of modern biotechnology are being applied to lowly pond scum.
CJ Warner was at the top of her game when she saw the writing on the wall. Twenty years into a glass-ceiling-busting career at BP, she had risen to the rank of Head of Global Refining for BP, making her one of the highest ranking executives in the oil industry. That was when she realized that she was running towards a dead end. “I had a slow but growing realization that the industry was maturing, the current fields were falling off in volume more quickly than anticipated, and the feats required to find new oil were becoming more and more heroic.”
The U.S. Government started investing in algal biofuels in 1978. They’re still trying.
The Aquatic Species Program was launched in 1978 by president Jimmy Carter to explore the potential of algae as an energy source. About $25 million was put into the program until it was shelved by the Clinton administration in 1996. They never found the 'lipid trigger' -- the trick to making the organisms produce lipids capable of being turned into biofuels in a high-volume low cost manner.
By: Cynthia J. Warner
President and Chairman, Sapphire Energy
The ongoing Gulf of Mexico oil spill has brought into stark relief, for many of us, the challenges we face in today’s energy world.
Here in America, we consume a stunning 19 million barrels of crude oil per day. We use it to support our daily lives in the way we expect to live. Readily available crude oil enables us to go where we want to go, enjoy plentiful and inexpensive food, buy goods from anywhere in the world and have them shipped to us, and use a wide array of materials, every day, that were derived from crude.
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San Diego’s quest to become a hub for the development of algae-based biofuels got a boost today, with the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology (SD-CAB), saying it’s getting the lion’s share of a three-year, $9 million federal Department of Energy grant awarded today.
California, United States -- Carbon dioxide seems to be the evil nemesis in a world preoccupied with its contributions to climate change. The less CO2 you emit, it seems, the better citizen you are, and with good reason. But at algae-to-biofuel facilities across the nation, carbon dioxide is not only not the enemy, it's an essential partner to helping achieve a low-carbon future.
In Florida, Biofuels Digest announced the winners of its “30 Most Transformative Technologies of 2010″ poll. The publication’s readers submitted more than 48,000 votes from 3,500 ballots during the three-week voting process.
The readers chose between transformative bioenergy technologies at more than 250 companies, universities and national laboratories, including 100 organizations that received write-in votes.
Algae’s potential vast, but the cost so far is immense
Some 300 million years ago, decaying algae that filled the world’s seas and swamps left behind a gift: oil.