Mexican Govt Pours Money Into Algae for Biofuel

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In the U.S., research is underway to produce algae biofuel for the same cost as petroleum-based fuel. The White House has set a goal of producing 36 billion gallons of biofuels by 2022. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Leonardo Ré-Jorge

The Mexican government will fund a pilot project to advance the development of algae biofuel for large-scale jet-fuel production.

Genesis Ventures of Ensenada, Baja California will serve as the project operator. The company said that in order to quickly increase production, it will heavily rely on the expertise of OriginOil, Inc., who created the technology to turn algae into a renewable oil.

Dubbed Mexico’s own “Manhattan Project,” the program is expected to produce 1 percent of the nation’s jet fuel from algae in less than five years, according to Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of OriginOil.

“By the end of this decade, the project must produce nearly 20 times that amount, propelling Mexico to the front rank of biofuel producing nations. We pledge the full dedication of our resources to help make this happen,” he said in a statement.

Developed by Genesis and operated by Ensenada’s Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education (CICESE), the first site will serve as a model for future projects to be co-located with large CO2 sources. Ensenada’s plentiful sunlight and seawater access make it an ideal location for algae harvesting.

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