Algal biomass can be converted to advanced biofuels that offer promising alternatives to petroleum-based diesel and jet fuels. Additionally, algae can be used to make a range of other valuable bioproducts, such as industrial chemicals, bio-based polymers, and proteins. However, barriers related to algae cultivation, harvesting, and conversion to fuels and products need to be overcome to achieve the Department of Energy’s target of $3 per gge for advanced algal biofuels by 2030. To accomplish this goal, DOE is investing in applied research and development technologies that can achieve higher yields of targeted bioproducts and biofuels from algae—increasing the overall value for algae biomass. Today the DOE announced that a Duke led Consortium (MAGIC) will receive up to $5.2 million to lead a consortium including University of Hawaii, Cornell University, Cellana and others to produce protein-based human and poultry nutritional products along with hydrotreated algal oil extract.
Grounded in a TEA/LCA framework, the MAGIC consortium will use biochemical specifications for biofuel and bioproducts (animal and human foods) provided by industrial partners to identify algae strains, growth and extraction approaches to demonstrate production and efficacy at successively larger scales to reduce uncertainty in TEA/LCA and develop a market transformation / commercialization plan to achieve the Renewable Fuels Standard.