Market Research and Insight

Biofuels — liquid fuels made from everything from algae to corn — haven’t yet come anywhere close to replacing crude oil. But they’re being produced in increasingly large volumes around the globe. (Biomass is also used to produce electricity; we’ll have more details on biomass energy following our latest... Read more
The US Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Navy will invest up to $510 million over the next three years in partnership with the private sector to produce advanced aviation and marine biofuels for military and commercial transportation. The initiative is part of the Blueprint for A Secure Energy Future,... Read more
California-based OriginOil is shifting from the development phase to the commercialisation phase in its goal of transforming algae into a renewable oil that’s price-competitive with petroleum. The company has also brought on board a new executive to fast-track the commercialisation process. Veteran technology executive Paul Reep has accepted the... Read more
The cleantech company with the mystery microorganism it says can convert sunlight into liquid fuel announced this week it had been awarded a US patent for its “breakthrough” process. If it all sounds too good to be true, it’s worth remembering at this stage that there’s a looong distance... Read more
A relatively inexpensive and low-tech reactor could help convert agricultural waste, used cooking oil and other biomass into super-clean fuels in just three steps. Albin Czernichowski, a professor at the University of Orleans in France, took his inspiration for the device from the process that lights up big-screen plasma... Read more
What began as an effort to find the best plant for beautifying contaminated industrial site ended up with a serendipitous discovery: a way to grow green biomass fuel. Researchers at Britain’s Teeside University have found that reed canary grass, a native plant, can not only grow well on polluted,... Read more
Algae-based biofuels aren’t all they’re cracked up to be? Not so fast, say those in the — of course — algae-based biofuel industry. A recent study from the University of Virginia that found algae’s environmental footprint is higher than other energy crops has riled more than a few proponents of algae-based... Read more
How much more have we yet to learn about the downsides of growing fuel? Could it ever reach the point where we decide it’s time to dump the idea and focus on the energy source that makes all biofuels possible in the first place: the sun? Cut out the... Read more
Could algae-based biofuels suffer the same fate as the now much-discredited corn-based ethanol? They might, if we don’t find ways to reduce algal fuel’s environmental impact, according to a new study. After the race to turn corn into fuel helped spark a global spike in food prices, clean-energy proponents... Read more
US researchers believe they might have found a way to make biofuels cheaper and easier to produce … by genetically programming microbes to self-destruct after photosynthesis, thus eliminating the difficult task of separating the bacteria from the oil inside. “The real costs involved in any biofuel production are harvesting... Read more