At first glance, algae seem like ideal candidates for biofuel. After all, each algal organism has at its center a dab of energy-rich oils and sugars. If you get enough algae, you can extract the oil—or ferment the sugar into alcohol—and use it to put a sizeable dent in the world’s thousand barrel per second petroleum consumption.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the College of William and Mary $500,000 to study various aspects of using wild aquatic algae as both biofuel feedstock and as a medium for helping to clean contaminated waterways.
A team of students and faculty launch an experimental algae-cultivation flume in Lake Matoaka. It's an initiative of the Chesapeake Algae Project (ChAP), whose goal is to generate algae-based biofuel.
The College of William & Mary and its Virginia Institute of Marine Science formed a collaborative research initiative to investigate producing biofuel from algae growing naturally in the Chesapeake Bay.
A number of researchers converge on a way to take algae and make it into fuel on an industrial scale.