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Algenol is a company located in Fort Myers, FL that is working with its unique photosynthetic algae to take carbon dioxide that is in the atmosphere and produce a variety of affordable and sustainable biofuels. The scale-up of this work by Algenol was funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy Bioenergy Technology Office’s American Reinvestment and Recovery Act support.
U.S. Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) partner Algenol signed an agreement with Protec Fuel to market and distribute commercial ethanol produced from algae for fleets and retail consumption from Algenol’s commercial demonstration module in Fort Myers, Florida. Algenol expects that the first two gas stations offering the fuel will open next year in Tampa and Orlando. The companies will distribute both E15 and E85 blends of ethanol that Algenol will produce at its future full-scale commercial plant upon completion in 2017.
"We know that advanced ethanol is a key element of the future of fuels, and we are excited to partner with Algenol, the leader in the development of algae-based fuels," said Todd Garner, CEO Protec Fuel, in the Algenol press release. "The key components and priority of ethanol's use are sustainability, cleaner air, and to provide the public with lower-cost fuel. To be able to offer a fuel that can accomplish the three key components only bolsters this advanced biofuel's future."
Algal ethanol is one of four biofuels that Algenol can produce using advanced biorefinery technologies. The others are gasoline, jet fuel, and diesel—all produced from sustainable algal biomass—at a price of $1.30 per gallon and a 69% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to fossil fuels. Algenol recently won a Presidential Green Chemistry Award for developing blue and green cyanobacteria that also reduce GHG emissions.
This achievement was made possible in part with $25 million in cost-shared funding from BETO through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. This funding allowed Algenol to successfully scale up its production of algal biofuel from lab to pilot scale. The Bioenergy Technologies Office works with many national laboratories, academic institutions, and private industry companies, such as Algenol, to help bring affordable, sustainable, and high-performance biofuels and bioproducts to the American public.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) success stories highlight the positive impact of its work with businesses, industry partners, universities, research labs, and other entities.