Money, research spur race for algae as fuel source

Monday, November 3rd 2008, 10:15 am
By: News 9

SEATTLE (AP) -- Could pond scum be the next green fuel?

Supporters think algae could someday be turned into cheap fuel for automobiles and airplanes, and are betting heavily on the idea.

About $180 million in venture capital money has been raised for algae research, with more than half coming in the third quarter of this year. That's according to Cleantech, an industry research group.

Some academic institutes have set up dedicated algae research centers, and a handful of start-ups are planning to test algae on larger demonstration projects in coming months.

Even the federal government is getting interested. The Department of Energy has invested $2.3 million in algae-to-fuel grants so far this year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)