November 9, 2009


Algae may replace corn's role in US biofuels



The US Congress plans to expand its biofuel mandate to include fuels made from algae and microorganisms, which could free up more corn supplies.


A climate bill the Senate is considering would replace the requirement for use of cellulosic biofuels with a broader mandate for "advanced green biofuels."


The change could encourage investors to put more money into developing algae fuels.


Algae fuels will get more investment, and the certainty of a potential investment will strengthen once algae fuels are part of a mandate, said analyst Kenneth Green.


The 2007 energy bill required that refiners start using biofuels made from cobs, wheat straw, grasses and other sources of plant cellulose by 2010, with the mandate growing annually to reach 16 billion gallons by 2022.