Seaweed BioFuel - Will it become the Biofuel choice for this decade?
One of the biggest obstacles in any plant-based biofuel endeavor is finding the means to extract the sugar from the feeder plant. This usually involves huge expenditures of money trying to engineer a microbe that will efficiently perform that task. Those expenditures have been made with investments from a variety of sources, such as Bill Gates and the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E. Now, a group of international companies are planning on partnering to support yet another attempt to make plant-based biofuel commercially viable, using seaweed. Bio-Architecture Lab is the company developing the technology to make seaweed, or macro-algae, the biofuel of choice for this decade.
Researchers at the company feel they will be able to use bioengineered microbes to produce a unique seaweed enzyme that could be used not only for fuel, but also for specific marketable chemicals. Bio-Architecture is one of the few companies working with seaweed rather than micro-algae. The actual cost of growing algae is significantly less than growing the micro-algae other companies such as Sapphire Energy have targeted. Bio-Architecture is counting on this lower cost as one of the factors in helping algae-based biofuel make the jump from lab to commercial use.