Biofuel technology just got a major boost, as Maryland’s Manta Biofuel LLC got $150,000 worth of seed capital to put towards developing the next generation prototype of its revolutionary floating algae harvester. SeeNews reports that Manta got the funding from the Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund for its portable, solar-powered prototype, which can autonomously navigate water and collect algae, which is then converted to crude oil through a process known as hydrothermal liquefaction.

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According to SeeNews: “The Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund supports Maryland start-ups that could improve air and water quality in the Chesapeake Bay area. It gets funds from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and is administered by the University of Maryland.”

Related: Revolutionary U.K. project is experimenting with algae to turn toxic mine waste into biofuel

The company hopes the technology could eventually help capture the massive algae blooms popping up in lakes around the world – and turn them into clean biofuel energy. Algae blooms are known for sucking oxygen out of the water, harming marine life and blocking sunlight for underwater grasses. They have been linked to climate change, as well as industrial and agricultural pollution.

Via SeeNews

Images Wikimedia Commons, and Flickr Creative Commons, nasamarshall