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Clean Power OriginOil partners in biorefinery development for Navy and NATO biofuel supply

Published on December 16th, 2011 | by Tina Casey


Navy Pushes Algae Biofuel as Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Sputters

December 16th, 2011 by  

OriginOil partners in biorefinery development for Navy and NATO biofuel supplyWhile the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline is temporarily stalled, the U.S. Navy is helping to push the market for algae biofuel. That’s good news for the U.S. biofuel industry and it could also help influence the growth of the biofuel industry internationally as well, since the Navy is coordinating its biofuel program with NATO fuel standards. In the latest development, the algae biofuel company OriginOil has announced a multinational joint venture to develop biorefineries that would supply both the U.S. and NATO.

OriginOil and International Algae Standards

The new joint venture is called Future Energy Solutions, and it’s still in the early stages of lining up investors and planning feasibility studies. In the meantime, in support of the joint venture OriginOil has partnered with the Idaho National Laboratory to develop international standards for algae biomass. OriginOil will contribute its proprietary, high efficiency algae oil extraction technology, and INL will chip in with its advanced biofuel processing technology and other equipment.

Many Feedstocks, One Biofuel

While the emphasis of the INL partnership is on algae, one major aim of the project is to integrate different kinds of non-food feedstocks into standardized biofuels, which would help to scale up global biofuel production more rapidly than a single-feedstock focus. Part of the rush has to do with the Navy’s intention to ramp up its use of biofuel within the next few years, starting with a demonstration of its new Green Strike Group at the Rim of the Pacific exercise this summer in preparation for the launch of a Green Fleet in 2016.

Joining Forces for Biofuels

President Obama has also gathered support for the program in the form of a $510 million biofuel partnership between the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Navy. Aside from helping to ensure the armed forces a growing supply of domestic alternative fuel, the initiative is designed to help build sustainable economies in rural areas by creating permanent new jobs in biorefining, transportation and related operations.

Image: Navy tests algae biofuel, some rights reserved by Official U.S. Navy Imagery.

Follow on Twitter: @TinaMCasey


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About the Author

specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

  • Michael G

    This is very encouraging. We aren’t going to fly ariplanes or drive large transportation vehicles on solar power alone, so getting a carbon-neutral substitute for oil has to be a high priority.

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  • Dear Editor,

    I just finished
    listening to Jack Spirko’s “”
    regarding 16 year old Josh Wolf of Elk River, Mn producing biofuel from Algae
    for less than 2-3 dollars a gallon. President Obama is still insisting on forcing
    $26.00+ a gallon algae biofuel to the US
    Navy. And that price does not even take into consideration
    the development costs we paid for. Is this going to be another cash cow like ethanol
    production was for Archer Daniels
    Midland? More BTU’s was used to produce
    the alcohol than it produced in our car engines? Will one Congressman or US Senator propose
    that we make a deal with this kid who apparently will not bankrupt this country
    as Obama’s plans call for? I know that according to our president that Josh did
    not create this process on his own and that we should take it away from him. After
    all without the rest of us , Josh would be nothing! Right? Good for you Josh!

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  • fatalgae

    Monsanto, Bill Gates and others have been had.


    Solydra story is opening a huge can of worms at the DOE LOAN GURANTEE LOAN PROGRAM. Its not just about the Solar loan guarantee program. Look at all the millions in fees collected by the DOE LOAN GUARANTEE PROGRAM with projects 20% completed. Also, an audit needs to be done on DOE GRANTS to individuals from the DOE that are now working in private industry. Very incestuous! There needs to be an audit on each individual loan program for amount funded and results!

    The US taxpayer has spent over $2.5 billion dollars over the last 50 years on algae research. To date, nothing has been commercialized by any algae researcher.

    The REAL question is: Does the DOE BIOMASS PROGRAM really want the US off of foreign oil or do they want to continue funding more grants for algae research to keep algae researchers employed at universities for another 50 years?

    In business, you are not given 50 years to research anything. The problem is in the Congressional Mandate that says the DOE can only use taxpayer monies on algae research, NOT algae production in the US. So far, research has not got the US off of foreign oil for the last 50 years!

    A Concerned Taxpayer

    • Anonymous

      Why don’t you concern yourself with the really big money the taxpayer is forking over rather than the penny-ante stuff?

      How about the ~$1 billion we spend every single day to pay for the health and environmental damage caused by burning coal?

      ” $2.5 billion dollars over the last 50 years” We spend that in less than 3 days to pay the hidden costs of coal.

      How about the $1 billion dollars we spend per day to import oil? In less than 3 days we spend more than we’ve spent “over the last 50 years” to develop oil substitutes.

      How about the $1 billion dollars we’ve been spending to fight “oil wars”? How about the hundreds of billions of dollars we’re going to be spending to care for our wounded warriors? That’s a bill that could go as high as one trillion US taxpayer dollars for a war that we did not need to fight.
      Aren’t you tired of us getting jerked around by oil-producing countries and getting screwed by big oil companies? Are you not concerned that oil companies, while posting enormous profits, are getting taxpayer subsidies?
      Does it bother you that our military people are being sent to die in order to keep “our oil supply” flowing?

      What we are spending to support algae-fuel, biofuel, wind, solar,
      geothermal, energy efficiency and all the other technology that gets us off
      oil and coal is a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny amount of what we
      spend on oil and coal.

      If you truly care about America quit carrying water for big oil and coal.
      Get behind the transition away from fossil fuels if you really want to
      help America.

  • Anonymous

    We need to be very careful here. Monsanto is lurking in the shadows.

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