When one of the biggest car manufacturers in the world invests their capital into algae biofuel research, you know that renewable energy will soon play a major role in the global economy. Ford Motor Company has recently hired scientists to look into algae as the major ingredient in their efforts towards bio-fuel production. The company has quickly realized that if their cars are to be relevant in the future, then they will need to find alternatives to gasoline and oil. The company has also been looking at ethanol and butanol biofuels, but at the moment, believe that algae may hold the greatest potential.
Working with scientists at Wayne State University’s National Biofuels Energy Laboratory, Ford has been researching the potential of algae as a major biomass ingredient in the production of fuel. To aid in their research, the team of scientists have been conducting assorted experiments on algae oil and its potential to power vehicles.
And this may come as a shock to many, but this isn’t Ford’s first attempt at using alternative fuels to run their products. According to Tim Wallington, technical leader with the Ford Systems Analytics and Environmental Sciences Department, “Ford has a long history of developing vehicles that run on renewable fuels; and the increased use of biofuels is an important element of our sustainability strategy now and moving forward.”
Sherry Mueller, Research Scientist, Ford Motor Company added, “Algae have some very desirable characteristics as a potential biofuel feedstock and Ford wants to show its support for any efforts that could lead to a viable, commercial-scale application of this technology.” Furthermore stating, “At this point, algae researchers are still challenged to find economical and sustainable ways for commercial-scale controlled production and culturing of high oil-producing algae.”