General Atomics to Receive Funds for Algae Biofuels Research

Feb 07, 2008

San Diego, CA. 7 February 2008. San Diego-based General Atomics and Texas AgriLife Research, part of the Texas A&M University System, have been awarded a $4 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund for research into the development of biofuels using microalgae.

The program will involve research into the development of promising algae strains and methods for testing algae production. General Atomics and Texas AgriLife Research have already identified strains of algae with high oil-producing potential. These strains require large amounts of sunlight, salty water and carbon dioxide to thrive and produce oil – all of which are readily available in the Permian Basin region of Texas.

It is expected that an acre of algae will provide 150 times the oil yield that an acre of soybeans does. Researchers estimate that approximately 10 million acres of algae would supply all the transportation fuel needs for the US.

“We are convinced that algae-based biofuels have the potential to provide very substantial benefits to the nation, and we are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to work together with the outstanding scientists and engineers of the A&M system to move the technology forward,” said Bill Davison, Vice President, General Atomics Advanced Process Systems Division.

General Atomics is a San Diego-based innovation firm with a 50-year history of successful solutions for environmental, energy, and defense challenges. GA specializes in performing innovative R&D and transforming conceptual results into practical systems.

Texas AgriLife Research is a science and technology agency under The Texas A&M University System charged with conducting basic and applied research in agriculture, the life sciences and natural resources.

For further information contact:

Carl Fisher Director,
Business Development
Advanced Technologies Group
(202) 496-8217

Doug Fouquet
Public Relations
(858) 455-2173

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