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As oil prices continue to rise, fuel and chemical industries look for alternative ways to produce products. These products include fine and bulk chemicals, solvents, bio-plastics, vitamins, food additives, bio-pesticides and liquid biofuels such as bio-ethanol and bio-diesel.
Industrial biotechnology applies the tools of biology to develop innovative processes and products in a cost-efficient and eco-efficient manner, using sustainable feed stocks.

CCRES is a member-based non-profit organization with membership open to research institutions, public and private sector organizations, students, and individuals. Every day, CCRES supporters fight to make environmental education, clean energy solutions, and the green economy a reality.

The mission of CCRES ALGAE PROJECT  is to support development of innovative, sustainable, and commercially viable algae-based biotechnology solutions for energy, green chemistry, bio-products, water conservation, and CO2 abatement challenges.

Why join CCRES ?

CCRES ALGAE is vital to CCRES mission and offers entrepreneurs and companies, large and small alike, a unique opportunity to actively participate in shaping the algae biotechnology research agenda for our future.Joining with commercial partners will propel research discoveries into energy and economic solutions for Croatian sustainable future.

Annual Memberships
To become a member, please CLICK HERE!

 Additional Benefits

     Invitations to CCRES seminars, tours, lunches and other special events.
Advance notice of joint-funding opportunities.
Access to CCRES facilities.
Receipt of E-Newsletter.
Recognition and logo presence for CCRES websites.
Ability to sponsor additional fellowships, meetings or seminars.
A seat on the CCRES Advisory Board.
Exclusive invitations to events.
Listing on the CCRES webpage and blogs.
High-profile inclusion in CCRES marketing materials.


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With oil prices reaching $105 a barrel for the first time since 2008, the biofuel industry is looking more attractive every day. As global demand rises and petroleum supplies diminish, countries are turning to algae for energy security.
 In smaller countries, like Croatia, where oil demand is low, and emission standards are poor, algae biofuel has the potential to significantly reduce reliance on foreign oil.
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Biodiesel from MicroalgaeThe oil from the algae can be used for any combustion process. An even wider range of use for algae oil is obtained by the transesterification to biodiesel. This biodiesel can be blended with fossil diesel or can be directly driven as pure biodiesel B100.

Biodiesel from microalgae has a comparable quality as rapeseed methyl ester and meets the standard EN 14214. At biodiesel production about 12% glycerin is produced as a by-product. This glycerin is a valuable resource for the production of algae in closed ponds, the heterotrophic processes. Thus, the entire algae oil can be used as fuel.

Fish FoodAlgae provide a natural solution for the expanding fishing industry:

High-protein fish food
Replacement for existing fish meal production
Algae have nutrients of many young fishes available

The fishing industry recorded an annual growth of over 10% and, according to experts, will beat the global beef consumption in 2015.

The Technology developed by CCRES offers the opportunity to deliver part of the needed proteins for fish farming on the resulting algal biomass.

Protein for the food industryThe demand for high-quality protein for the food industry has been growing rapidly over the years.

The big growth opportunities are:

Weight control
Fitness and Sports Nutrition
Food supplements

The market volume in the protein sector is continously growing and at the rate of US $ 10.5B in 2010 and according to experts, will steadily increase to approx. $25B until 2030.

“There is intense interest in algal biofuels and bioproducts in this country and abroad, including in US,Australia, Chile, China, the European Union, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and others,” says Branka Kalle, President of Council Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES).
Advantages algae has over other sources may make it the world’s favored biofuel. Algae could potentially produce over 20 times more oil per acre than other terrestrial crops.Algae avoids many of the environmental challenges associated with conventional biofuels.Algae does not require arable land or potable water, which completely avoids competition with food resources.
 “The Asia Pacific region has been culturing algae for food and pharmaceuticals for many centuries, and these countries are eager to use this knowledge base for the production of biofuels,”says Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES.Without sustained high prices at the pump, investment in algae will likely be driven by demand for other products. In the short term, the growth of the industry will come from governments and companies seeking to reduce their environmental impact through carbon collection.

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Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)
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Astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis

Astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis

President & CEO of CCRES
Astaxanthin, a member of the carotenoid family, it is a dark red pigment and the main carotenoid found in algae and aquatic animals. It is responsible for the red/pink coloration of crustaceans, shellfish, and the flesh of salmonoids. Algatechnologies produces astaxanthin from the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis, the richest known natural source for astaxanthin.
Astaxanthin however, is more than just a red pigment, it is primarily an extremely powerful antioxidant. It has the unique capacity to quench free radicals and reactive species of oxygen and to inhibit lipid peroxidation. Studies have shown astaxanthin to be over 500 times stronger than vitamin E and much more potent than other carotenoids such as lutein, lycopene and β-carotene.
Astaxanthin was found to have beneficial effects in many health conditions related to the Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders, skin health, joint health, muscle endurance, as well as to the cardiovascular, immune, eye and other systems.

Natural astaxanthin – molecule properties

Astaxanthin (3,3’-dihydroxy-β-β-carotene-4,4’-dione) is a xanthophyll  carotenoid,  commonly found in marine environments where it gives an orange-pink coloration to several sea-species.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis
Astaxanthin has two chiral centers, at the 3 and 3′ positions. The main astaxanthin stereoisomer (3S, 3S’) found in the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis is the main form found in wild salmon.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis
 Astaxanthin consists of geometric isomers (trans and cis). the cis isomers display higher bioavailability and potency in humans This isomer is abundant (up to 20%) in the natural astaxanthin complex produced by the microalga Haematococcus pluvialis.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis

The astaxanthin in Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae occurs in the esterified form, which is more stable than the free astaxanthin form.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis

Astaxanthin cannot be synthesized by animals and humans and must be provided in the diet. Natural astaxanthin has been part of the human diet for thousands of years.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis

Astaxanthin, unlike most carotenes is not converted to vitamin A (retinol) in the human body.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis

Natural astaxanthin has no “pro-oxidant” activity – It does not become an exhausted oxidant thanks to its unique molecule structure that is able to release the excess of energy as heat.

CCRES  Haematococcus pluvialis
 Astaxanthin has been shown to actually cross the blood-brain and blood-retina barriers, meaning it can positively impact disorders related to brain and the central nervous system.
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CCRES Low Carbon Fuels in Aviation

 photo by CCRES


Biofuels are key to industry’s future

 In a bid to reduce its dependency on imported oil and tackle global warming, the EU has committed to raising the share of fuels from renewable sources in transport to 10% by 2020 – including biofuels, hydrogen and green electricity.
For the growing aviation industry, the switch to plant-based fuel is seen as not only environmentally smart, but a sensible financial move in an era or rising conventional fuel prices and worries about supply security.
Biofuel use in passenger aircraft is still a novelty, and industry officials are urging governments to help lift supplies, much as policies in the EU and United States have created a flourishing market in plant-based oils for motor vehicles.
The industry contends that sustainable fuels will reduce emissions even as passenger traffic grows. The airline sector has committed to meet 10% of its overall fuel consumption with biofuels by 2017 – though the goal is ambitious given that it is to account for just 1% by 2015…
Meanwhile, more doubts are being raised about the environmental benefits of biofuels.
The United Nations Environment Programme has warned that even though burning plant-based fuels can produce significantly lower levels of carbon emissions, production and land clearing to make way for new crops “may reduce carbon-savings or even lead to an increase.”
European conservation groups say the EU and European governments should wait to embrace aviation biofuels until there is proof of their environmental benefits.
 ”Given the right conditions, algae can double its volume overnight. Microalgae are the earth’s most productive plants –– 10 to 15 times more prolific in biomass than the fastest growing land plant exploited for biofuel production. While soy produces some 50 gallons of oil per acre per year; canola, 150 gallons; and palm, 650 gallons, algae can produce up to 15,000 gallons per acre per year. In addition, up to 50 percent (or more) of algae biomass (dry weight) is comprised of oil, whereas oil-palm trees—currently the most efficient large-scale source of feedstock oil to make biofuels—yield approximately 20 percent of their weight in oil,” says Zeljko Serdar, President of CCRES
 Airlines have committed to ramping up their use of biofuels in the belief that they can contribute to achieving the sector’s pledges on carbon-neutral growth. For 2050, the EU foresees 40% use of “sustainable low carbon fuels” in aviation.
Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)
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Algae, the Source of Biofuels, and Aquaponics
Algae can be used as important types of biomass materials from which the biofuels can be obtained. Algae absorb the energy from the sun in the presence of carbon dioxide and store it. A number of processes can be carried out on algae to convert it into biofuels like alcohol, biodiesel and even biogas. The biodiesel obtained from algae can be mixed with petroleum diesel and it can be used for running of trucks, cars and many types of engines that use diesel. Biodiesel can also be used as the fuel in the jets, airplanes, refineries and pipelines. The biomass obtained from algae can be used as the renewable sources of energy since it is available in abundant quantities and will be available for unlimited period of time.
One of the important advantages of algae is that it can grow in any type of water like salt, fresh, and even contaminated water. It can be grown in vast sea and river water, small rain water ponds and even commercial or domestic manmade made ponds. Algae has the potential to yield 30 times more energy than the crops grown on land, which are currently being used to produce the biofuels. This could encourage the use of algae for producing biofuels instead of the land that can be used for producing food crops. The harvesting cycle of algae is 1 to 10 days, which permits several harvests in short period of time and using the resources more effectively.

Algae and Aquaponics
As described earlier, algae can be grown in any type of water and in type of water storage system. Besides the naturally occurring seas, rivers, and ponds, it can also grow in manmade ponds. The manmade ponds can be at homes for domestic purpose or in large lands made for commercial production of algae. For the better growth of algae some nutrients may be added to water. Besides using these ponds for algae growth they can also be used for the growth of fishes and other aquatic animals.
Aquaponics is the system where one can grow the fishes and plants like algae in one integrated system. The waste given by the fishes act as important nutrients for the plants, while the cover of plants provides the natural filter for the fishes in the living areas. Aquaponics is the combination of words aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture is the cultivation of fish or other water based animals, while hydroponics is the growth of plants in water. In aquaponics one can grow the water animals as well the plants at the same time. Thus the manmade small or big pond can be effectively used for growing fishes as well plants like algae.
The plants usually prefer warm-water so the water in aquaponics is also warm. The fishes grown in aquaponics are of warm-water type and not of cold-water type. The fishes grown in aquaponics can be consumed by the owner, they can be given to the friend, can be sold in the market to earn money or they can be kept as the pets. The harvesting period of fishes ranges from 7 to 9 months. When aquaponics is combined with a controlled environment greenhouse, high quality crops can be grown throughout the year and in any part of the world.
Aquaponics comprises of the water tank where the fishes are raised and fed. There is a chamber, where the uneaten foods and other particles and solids are collected. The bio-filter converts ammonia into nitrates, which act as the nutrients for the plants. There is also a portion for the growth of the plants. The lowest part of tank is a sump from where fresh water is supplied to the tank and old water is removed.
The concept of aquaponics can be extended for the growth of algae. Instead of the plants, one can grow algae, which has the harvest cycle of one to ten days. At the same time the fishes can also be grown. In the period of about nine months, while the fishes will harvest once, algae will be harvested several times. The large quantities of algae collected this way can be used as the biomass for producing the biofuels like biodiesel.
The advantages of using aquaponics for the growth of algae is that in a single place harvesting of both, the algae as well as fishes can be done. This would increase the profitability for the owner if they already have aquaculture or hydroponics. While earlier they would get only a single product from the infrastructure, they could now get two products. Since harvesting time of algae is short, it would keep the owner busy and this could become a continuous source of income for them.
The major limitations of aquaponics are the high initial costs required for housing, tank, plumbing, pumps and bedding. One should also do thorough research for the chances of success of such project. The system also has number of points of failure and requires intensive maintenance.
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Escapeartist, Inc
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 Sources of Alternative Energy
Alternative energy or renewable energy is important for creating clean energy future not only for the individual nations but the whole world. It offers excellent alternatives to the fossil fuels to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. The sources of the alternative energy are inexhaustible and one can rely on them for long-term basis Here are some important sources of alternative energy:
1) Solar energy:
The energy obtained from the radiations of the sun is called as solar energy. Sun is the massive source of energy releasing radiations since billions of years non-stop. The radiations emitted by sun are vital for all the plant, animal and human lives on the earth. At present solar energy is being tapped successfully for a number of applications.

Solar cooker is small box type equipment used for cooking of the food without requiring any additional fuel. There are number of variations of solar cooker with different efficiencies and different sizes. Solar water heaters are used extensively for heating water that can be used for bathing, domestic use and industrial purposes. It saves lots of electricity costs and the burning of other fuels like wood, coal, LPG etc. Another very important application of the solar energy is the photovoltaic or PV cells. The PV cells comprise of the solar panels that absorb solar energy and store them in the batteries. The energy from the batteries can be used for different domestic as well industrial applications
Besides these, there are number of other applications of solar energy like solar street lights, solar lanterns, calculators, mobiles etc. Solar energy is available abundantly in countries like India, China, US and others. It is considered to be one of the most resourceful sources of energy for future.

2) Wind energy:
The energy obtained from naturally flowing wind in the atmosphere is called as wind energy. Wind energy is available extensively in specific geographical locations without any costs. The wind in motion carries kinetic energy and it can be converted into mechanical and electrical energy. Presently wind energy is widely used for the generation of electricity.
To tap the energy from wind turbines are used. The wind turbine comprises of large blades looking like the fan. The blades are attached to the hub, which in turn is mounted on a shaft When the moving wind comes in contact with the blades it causes the rotation of the blades, which in turn causes the rotation of the shaft at low speeds. This shaft is connected to the gear box and causes slow rotation of the input gears and fast rotation of output gears and shaft. The output shaft rotates in an alternator that produces electricity. To get sufficient amount of grid power, large number of wind turbines are required at a specific location, which is called as wind farm or wind power plant.

3) Hydropower:
The power obtained from the flow of water is called as hydraulic power or hydro power or water power. The alternative energy from water can be obtained in a number of ways, the most popular being the hydroelectric power plants. In these power plants huge dams are built across the flow of the river. The water is stored in the dam at large heights and it carries potential energy. When the water flows down the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. The flowing water comes in contacts with the large water turbines and makes them rotate in the transformer that produces electricity. Hydroelectric power plants are important source of electricity in a number of countries including US, China, India, Russia, and others.
Alternative energy obtained from the tides of the oceans is called as tidal energy. The waves in the waters of the oceans can also be utilized to produce electricity.

4) Geothermal Energy:
The heat energy obtained from the deep layers of earth is called as geothermal energy. The heat is produced continuously in the deep layers of earth, which can be utilized for various purposes like heating water, operating the heat pumps, producing electricity etc. Large amount of heat is generated in the core of earth and it gets conducted through the surrounding layers of rock. It comes to the surface of the earth in various forms like lava, hot springs etc, while other heat is stored below the surface of the earth. This heat is the geothermal energy and is available in unlimited quantity.

5) Biomass energy:
Biomass is the organic material obtained from the plants. The plants absorb energy from the sun by the process of photosynthesis so the energy is store in them. The biomass is the garbage leftover by the plants in the form of fallen leaves, broken branches, dead trees, wood chips, wasted crops etc. A number of other garbage and waste materials can be considered to be biomass. The energy obtained from the biomass is called as the biomass energy.
When the biomass is heated, the chemical energy within it is converted into heat energy, which can be used for heating water, producing steam, cooking food etc. Biomass can also be used to produce the methane gas, which can be used as the fuel. Rotten garbage and human waste can also be considered as biomass that can be used to produce methane, which is called as landfill gas or biogas. Biomass can also be converted biodiesel, which can be mixed with the traditional diesel fuel to run the vehicles.
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Escapeartist, Inc
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Alternative Energy
Energy has become integral parts of our day-to-day lives. Energy is required to produce electricity for domestic and industrial applications. We need energy to drive our vehicles, to run the machines, keep our houses cool and hot, run the computers and mobiles, and for a number of other purposes.
Comparison of Traditional and Alternative Energy Sources:
Traditionally we have been using fossil fuels for production of electric power and driving our vehicles. The fuels used for the generation of electric power are fossil fuels like coal and oil, and nuclear fuels like uranium. The fuels used commonly for running the vehicles are crude oils like gasoline and diesel. Alternative energy refers to the energy that is not dependent on fossil fuels, crude oil and nuclear fuels. Alternative energy, also called as renewable energy, is obtained from various sources like radiations of the sun (solar energy), wind, water, geothermal heat and tides in the oceans. Burning of fossil fuels is one of the major causes of environmental pollution and greenhouse effect. They release lots of carbon dioxide and particulate matter. The alternative or renewable energy is considered to be the clean energy since extracting energy from its sources does not produce any pollution.
The sources of energy like fossil fuels, crude oil and nuclear fuels are also called as non-renewable sources of energy since their deposits are reducing in the nature as they are being used extensively throughout the world. Fuels like coal, natural gas and oil took millions of years to develop but once used they cannot be replaced immediately. The alternative energy on the other hand is available in abundance from various sources and they get replaced easily immediately or within short period of time.
Alternative sources of energy provide unending supply of energy. For instance the solar energy from the sun will be available for unlimited period of time till the sun keeps shining. Solar energy can be collected by the collectors and it can be used for a number of applications like cooking food, heating water, generating electricity, running the vehicles etc. Similarly, the wind will keep on blowing on the surface of the earth tills its atmosphere is in place so it can be utilized for unlimited period of time. The ability of the wind to produce motion can be utilized to run the fans of the windmill and produce electricity from them.
The tidal energy is obtained from waves of the oceans having huge quantity of water that would last forever. One of the important sources of alternative energy is hydro-power used for the generation of electricity in hydroelectric power plants. Throughout the world, the hydroelectric power plants are one of the major sources for the generation of electricity. In these plants the flow of river is blocked at certain places and water is allowed to be collected at large height in the dam. The rivers have been flowing since thousands of years and continue to exist for unlimited period of time as they are replenished by rain water from time-to-time.
Geothermal energy is obtained from the lower layers of the earth usually for producing the heating effect. Once the energy is obtained from the earth, it is replaced immediately naturally and it can be used for ending period of time interval.
Another important source of alternative energy is the biomass like waste wood, leaves of the plants, broken branches and twigs of the trees, agricultural wastes, garbage, human wastes etc. The fuels obtained from biomass are called bio-fuels. Some of the common bio-fuels are ethanol, biodiesel, and natural gas. Biodiesel is a type of alternative fuel used for running of the vehicles. It is made from renewable energy sources like plant and animal fats. Biodiesel is not a petroleum fuel, but it can be easily blended with petroleum fuel diesel in various proportions.
All the above alternative sources of energy are expected to last for long intervals of time line. While the supply of coal, oil and natural gas is expected to reduce and stop in the future, the supply of energy from sources like sun, wind, water, earth, and biomass is expected to last forever.
Consumption of alternative energy in US has been increasing over the years. In the year 2009 the consumption of alternative energy in US was 7.7 quadrillion Btu, which was 8% of all the energy used in the whole nation. Half of the alternative energy was used for producing electricity, while 10% of the total electricity produced was from alternative energy sources. Besides this alternative energy sources were also used for production of heat and steam. Alternative energy was also used for transportation, and to provide heat for homes and businesses.
Alternative energy sources reduce the pressure on fossil fuels and also help keep environment clean. The only major problem is that alternative energy is expensive compared to the fossil fuels mainly because they are located in remote places and its difficult to bring them to the main grid. Some of the sources like wind and solar are not uniform during various periods of the day and the year. However, their demand has been increasing and various technologies are being developed to utilize alternative energy sources more efficiently.
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Escapeartist, Inc
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Human growth hormone (HGH) from algae



Rehovot, Israel-based Rosetta Green Ltd., which specializes in crop improvement for the agriculture and alternative fuel industries using unique genes called microRNAs, has successfully completed an experiment producing human growth hormone (HGH) and validated its biological activity. Proteins produced by both treated and control algae were tested with an in vitro activity test assay by an independent third party using the conventional proliferation method. The activity test assay found that Rosetta Green’s treated algae exhibited hormonal activity.

The project is part of a joint European effort to manufacture chemicals and proteins in algae, which is implemented and funded by the European Union as part of the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program for Research and Technology Development (FP7). More than ten European organizations are participating in this project, including companies and leading universities, which has an estimated budget of about $7 million US. The project is being managed by Professor Sammy Boussiba of the Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory of Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
Rosetta Green focuses on using microalgae to develop and produce human proteins for therapeutics, a process that reduces the currently steep drug production costs associated with using mostly mammalian cells and bacteria.

According to Amir Avniel, Rosetta Green’s CEO, “Algae may be an effective source for the production of proteins and vaccines. Rosetta Green has vast experience working with molecular methods in algae. The company worked on the development of designated algae in order to produce the protein in cooperation with the EU. Algae can be used for multiple applications such as producing chemicals, industrial food supplements, bio fuel and food. We believe that the technology that we develop provides significant advantage to improve various traits in plants and algae. We continually seek partners to develop our products and technologies.”

Growth hormone is a peptide hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. Among its functions are the regulation of protein production and the stimulation of bone growth in children. Growth hormone is normally secreted throughout a person’s life, but the amount decreases by 14% every decade after the age of 21. A deficiency in this hormone is known to cause growth block, short stature and dwarfism.

Currently, growth hormone is produced by major multi-nationals such as Pfizer, Lilly, and Merck Serono and used as a prescription medicine to treat children with growth problems and adults with hormone deficiency as well as other symptoms characterized by growth complications. Total annual sales of human growth hormone are estimated at approximately $3 Billion US.

Growth hormone is administered today primarily through daily injections over several years. The accumulated cost can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars per child. Rosetta Green believes that manufacturing the hormone using microalgae will likely reduce today’s high cost of production, which relies upon currently available techniques.

More info at http://www.rosettagreen.com/.

CCRES special thanks to Professor Sammy Boussiba of the Microalgal Biotechnology Laboratory of Ben Gurion University of the Negev.



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Croatian Center of Renewable Energy Sources (CCRES)

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Biomass-Based Fuel Supplements

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $15 million available to demonstrate biomass-based oil supplements that can be blended with petroleum, helping the United States to reduce foreign oil use, diversify the nation’s energy portfolio, and create jobs for American workers.
Known as “bio-oils,” these precursors for fully renewable transportation fuels could be integrated into the oil refining processes that make conventional gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels without requiring modifications to existing fuel distribution networks or engines.
The Department expects to fully fund between five to ten projects in fiscal year 2012 to produce bio-oil prototypes that can be tested in oil refineries and used to develop comprehensive technical and economic analyses of how bio-oils could work. The proto-type bio-oils will be produced from a range of feedstocks that could include algae, corn and wheat stovers, dedicated energy crops or wood residues.
 Domestic industry, universities, and laboratories are all eligible to apply.
The results of the projects will inform future efforts directed at advancing bio-oil technologies and bringing these renewable fuels to market. A description of the funding opportunity, eligibility requirements, and application instructions can be found on the Funding Opportunity Exchange website under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000686.
The Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Learn more about EERE’s work with industry, academia, and National Laboratory partners on a balanced portfolio of research in biomass feedstocks and conversion technologies.
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Fuels From Algae

In the spectrum of alternative fuel sources, biofuel made from algae
is perhaps the most easily mocked.
 How could the slimy green muck that
grows in your aquarium and washes up on the beach be a future
cornerstone of American energy independence? So when President Obama
stood before the University of Miami recently and said algae could
provide up to 17 percent of our transportation fuel, we wanted to know:
Is he right? Here’s what we found out:
In February, President Obama announced the Department of Energy would
allocate $14 million in new funding to develop transportation fuels
from algae. DOE is already supporting over 30 such projects, together
worth $94 million.
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