Bloomberg News

U.S. to Invest $14 Million for Algae Biofuels, White House Says

February 23, 2012

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The Energy Department plans to invest $14 million to make transportation fuels out of algae, according to the White House.

“We could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in the United States,” President Barack Obama said today in Miami during a speech on energy policy. “That means greater energy security” and a “stronger economy,” he said.

Algae, a plant-like organism without roots, can be harvested from ponds near industrial sites, where it can grow from power-plant carbon emissions or wastewater substances, the White House said in a fact sheet. The Energy Department is backing about $85 million for more than 30 projects to develop biofuels from algae, it said.

Biofuels from algae may be used as a substitute for gasoline, jet fuel and diesel fuel, Obama said. The president is seeking to begin construction on at least four commercial-scale refineries for biofuels by 2013, according to the White House fact sheet.

The Energy Department plans to ask small businesses, universities and national laboratories to create “test beds” to conduct research on algae biofuels, according to an agency statement.

--Editors: Jon Morgan, Steve Geimann

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Wingfield in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at

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