Algenol’s algae-to-ethanol process can deliver 67% to 87% reduction in carbon footprint compared to gasoline

March 1, 2011

A team from Algenol and Georgia Tech calculated the life cycle energy and greenhouse gas emissions for three different system

scenarios for this [Algenol’s] proposed ethanol production process, using process simulations and thermodynamic calculations. They found that, on a life cycle basis in comparison to gasoline, the direct to ethanol technology can provide a 67% to 87% reduction in carbon footprint on an energy equivalent basis for initial ethanol concentrations (given in weight percent) ranging from 0.5% to 5%.

(Source: Green Car Congress, 25 October 2010)

Algenol Biofuels’ Direct to Ethanol technology is based on an intracellular photosynthetic process in cyanobacteria that produces ethanol that is excreted through the cell walls, collected from closed photobioreactors as a dilute ethanol-in-water solution, and purified to fuel grade ethanol.

Algenol were awarded a $25 million US-DOE grant to build a pilot-scale biorefinery that will make ethanol directly from carbon dioxide using hybrid algae. They are one of only 19 companies (and one of only 3 algae companies) to be selected for a biorefinery grant.

Their innovative technology attracted the interest of Dow Chemicals, who partnered with the company to construct a $50 million pilot algae biofuels plant in Freeport, USA. The plant will be located with Dow’s existing chemicals complex, and will supply CO2 as well as land for the pilot algae facility. Dow wants to use algae to produce ethanol, which can be converted to ethylene, a major building block for high value chemicals. Traditionally, natural gas are used as feedstock for ethylene production.

We are happy to announce that the Managing Director of Algenol Switzerland GmbH, Mr Dirk Radzinski, has confirmed his participation as a speaker at the 3rd Algae World Europe conference. He will talk about the company’s state-of-the-art technology: Direct Ethanol Production from Algae.

Mr. Radzinski will be joined by other leading algae specialists and innovators, please click <here> to view the program agenda.

Contact Ms. Huiyan at with any questions, or click here to reserve your seat.


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