Exxon Mobil lauds algae-based biofuels

Jan. 20, 2010 at 11:57 AM
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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A solution to expand the options for renewable energy resources is through the use of biofuels produced by algae, Exxon Mobil executives said in Abu Dhabi.

Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development for Exxon Mobil, in a speech before the delegates at the 2010 World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi said that with energy demands expected to rise by 35 percent in the next 20 years, all viable energy options must be explored.

"We believe that biofuel produced by algae could be a meaningful part of the solution in the future to produce an economically viable, low net carbon emission transportation fuel," he said.

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

Jacobs said that while "significant work" was needed to exploit algae-based fuels, the technology could help meet the world's growing energy demands while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Meeting our many energy challenges requires a multidimensional approach," said Jacobs.

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