Exxon researching algae for biofuels

July 15, 2010 at 10:32 AM
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LA JOLLA, Calif., July 15 (UPI) -- Exxon Mobil said it teamed with partners at Synthetic Genomics to open a greenhouse in California to support research in their algae biofuels project.

Exxon Mobil in September announced it had joined Synthetic Genomics on a $600 million partnership to develop algae for the use in biofuels.

Exxon said it opened a new greenhouse facility at the headquarters of Synthetic Genomics to examine the "real-world" condition of algae production.

Scientists at the California facility will examine different growth systems, temperatures and lighting systems for algal growth.

"The greenhouse is the next important step in our alliance as we comprehensively explore algae as a source of renewable biofuels," said Synthetic Genomics founder J. Craig Venter.

Exxon Mobil said algae-based biofuels could generate as much as 2,000 gallons of fuel per acre per year, eclipsing palm tree, corn and sugar cane alternatives.

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