Making biofuel from algae is not a new technology (getting it to work in commercial-scale plants at reasonable costs, that's another story), but it's also not one that is fully developed. Japan, for example, started a national algae biofuel project in the 1990s, but $10 barrels of oil killed that pretty quick. Now, Toyota has announced it will work with Hitachi and 40 other Japanese companies on a new national algae project. This one will try to make algae-basd biofuels, cosmetics and food. So, maybe we're going to burn, wear and eat the little buggers someday.
Algae biofuel is hot again now (well, medium warm, at least, since its certainly not scorching) and Hidetoshi Shioda, a senior energy analyst at Mizuho Securities Co. in Tokyo, told Automotive News (sub. req.) that, "A tug of war may begin among industrial nations for a new way of making algae-derived fuel in the years ahead." If we get some tasty new algae-based ramen noodle packs out of the bargain, that'd be a nice bonus.
[Source: Automotive News (sub. req.) | Image: www.futureatlas.com - C.C. License 2.0]
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