Wednesday, October 24, 2012

National Academies Report Released: Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels

Recently, the National Academies Press (NAP) released a report produced by the Committee on the Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels; Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources; Board on Energy and Environmental Systems; Division on Earth and Life Studies; Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences; and the National Research Council titled, Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels (2012). The 231-page report is available here, free with a one-time registration. According to the abstract,
Biofuels made from algae are gaining attention as a domestic source of renewable fuel. However, with current technologies, scaling up production of algal biofuels to meet even 5 percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs could create unsustainable demands for energy, water, and nutrient resources. Continued research and development could yield innovations to address these challenges, but determining if algal biofuel is a viable fuel alternative will involve comparing the environmental, economic and social impacts of algal biofuel production and use to those associated with petroleum-based fuels and other fuel sources. This report was produced at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy.

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