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Melbourne, FL-based PetroAlgae has filed an S-1 document with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the hopes of raising $200 million from an initial public offering. Unfortunately, despite the promise that algae shows as a feedstock for biofuels, PetroAlgae doesn't appear to have much to offer.

Back in the early days of mass-produced biofuels, corn-based ethanol and soy-based biodiesel were all the rage. But criticism about food vs. fuel and scalability abounded and, by 2008, cellulosic ethanol became known as a so-called second-generation-biofuel and, maybe, the answer to our oil-addicted prayers. Blame Congress, blame the economy, heck, blame T. Boone Pickens if you want to, but the fact of the matter is that in the two years since cellulosic ethanol's big appearance, large-scale pro

We never really knew that plants sweat. Nor were we aware that when some of them sweat, it's good ole biodiesel pouring out. If that's the case, then let's turn up the heat and get rewarded with all the fuel we will ever need. A little-known American company called Joule Unlimited claims that perspiration from a new type of gene-altered single cell organism actually contains usable biodiesel fuel. To prove its case, Joule will open a test pilot plant in Texas, a region capable of making anything

Researchers in Spain have demonstrated that they can transform fungus directly into commercial-grade biodiesel.Through a process we admittedly don't pretend to completely understand, the fungus mucor circinelloides is made into ASTM-D6751-spec biodiesel without first having its oils extracted, a process called direct transesterification. For all you home-brew folks, or for those familiar with the process of good, old-fashioned transesterification, this all sounds pretty cool.

Over the last several years, algae has been seen as the great green hope to make biofuels a truly viable option that wouldn't affect food supplies. In part, this is because algae has the potential to yield up to 100 times as much fuel per acre as soy or corn feedstocks. Unfortunately, progress been slow so far, and a new study by Andres Clarens of the University of Virginia indicates making algae requires much more energy to produce than crops.

The DOE is getting ready to spend $85 billion on research to create biofuels made from algae and other advanced techniques. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds will be made available "for the development of algae-based biofuels and advanced, infrastructure-compatible biofuels" that can be brought "to market in an accelerated timeframe."

One of the most promising biofuel feedstocks in recent years has been algae. Algae is high in oil content, potentially providing much higher yields of fuel than any other current crop - as much as 100 times more than soy, for example. Researchers at the University of Nevada-Reno have been testing a pair of outdoor algae ponds to evaluate the viability of growing fuel algae in the region. The first phase was a success with algae growing in a pair of 5,000 gallon ponds even with overnight temperat

What's green and blue, eats CO2, and could wind up in your gas tank? If you answered heat-loving green blue algae (or thermophilic cyanobacteria, if you want to sound all smart and stuff), then ding! ding! ding!, you are correct! A pilot algae bioreactor project was just awarded a $375,000 grant by the Montana Department of Commerce and may, if it works out as hoped, pave the way for commercialization of the process.

One of the more promising sources of biofuels in recent years has been algae. While there are a number of small scale tests along with some larger scale commercialization projects, the UK's Carbon Trust wants to accelerate the process. The Trust has launched an Algae Biodiesel Challenge with goal of making algae-sourced liquid fuels commercially viable by 2020. The first phase of the £30 million project will focus on research and development including finding the best strains of algae, yie

Bloomfield Hills, MI-based Sequest LLC is contemplating building a pilot algae biodiesel plant in Holland (on Michigan's west side). Holland has a number of attributes that make it a good location for this particular project. Sequest wants the plant to use waste water for growing the algae and carbon-dioxide to feed it. A coal-fired power plant is in close proximity to the local water treatment plant. Michigan State University also has a research lab nearby.

There are plenty of flex-fuel capable cars on the roads, but there is not nearly enough ethanol available to power all of them on the gasoline alternative. It's no secret that corn-based ethanol is not the answer to our oil woes, but if that's the case, what alternatives should we be looking closest at? Regular readers are surely aware that cellulosic ethanol is the way to go when it comes to alcohol-based fuels, but even with that process, a crop of some sort is required. Additionally, biodiese

Over the past couple of years, algae has been gaining a lot of attention as a potentially high-yield source of biodiesel fuel. As the controversy over food vs. fuel and water use grows for corn ethanol, researchers have been trying to find alternatives that don't require arable land and more energy to produce than they yield. Algae is looking like one of the best prospects with yields per acre of up to 100 times what can be achieved from soy and other crops.

PetroSun Inc. has been working on developing algae biodiesel production and they're now almost ready to start buliding a commercial-scale production facility. The company is cultivating algae paste, and they will be supplying it to companies that produce the refinery equipment for testing. Based on those test results, subsidiary Algae Biofuels will select an equipment supplier for their first biodiesel plant will may be built in either Arizona, New Mexico, California, Louisiana or Michigan. Init

Ok, we know biofuels hold great promise to end our addiction to oil. And we know that finding the perfect biomass feedstock is a point of serious contention. To me, algae (not watermelon, it may surprise AutoblogGreen regulars) hold the greatest promise to make a lot of a biofuel cheaply. Of course, there are a lot of hurdles to jump before the little green things produce biodiesel in a commercially-viable way.

Maria "Girl Mark" Alovert is promoting a biodiesel-related slideshow presentation/lecture in San Francisco that will delve deep into the possibilities of using algae to make the biofuel. The class will be taught by algae researcher Jon Meuser, Ph.D. Candidate in the Division of Environmental Science and Engineering, Colorado School of Mines on January 9th from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Artists' Television Access. The best part: it's free.

Like the nascent hydrogen economy, the biodiesel industry is trying to figure out the best way to move forward. Corn and soy are two of the main feedstocks right now but they're not the most promising for long-term use. As Imperium Renewables president John Plaza told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, these bridge feedstocks need to be used now so we can get a handle on how best to make and use biodiesel.

A newly announced biodiesel plant in Nevada will use a geothermal energy source. The plant, to be built by Infinifuel (cool name, that) will build the biodiesel plant as part of facility that generates 5 MW of electricity from two production geothermal wells and seven power production units, while the 220 degree steam will be used in the production of biodiesel. All of this geothermal power will be able to produce five million gallons of biodiesel a year, made from oilseed and/or algae (Infinifu