Shell Quits Last Algae Biofuel Commitment - Still Backing Ethanol & Cellulosic Biofuels

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photo: Eric E Castro/Creative Commons

A quick update on some technological shake out in biofuels: Renewable Energy World reports that Shell has quit its last agreement in algae biofuels, exiting a partnership with HR BioPetroleum and its demonstration facility on the Big Island of Hawaii. The official Shell response:

In keeping with Shell's portfolio approach to the research, development and commercialization of advanced biofuels, this decision will allow Shell to focus on other options that have shown a better fit with Shell's biofuel portfolio and strategy.

Which leaves Shell with biofuel production along the following paths: Ethanol from sugar (in Brazil), cellulosic ethanol (in Canada and California), sugar to petroleum (with Virent Energy Systems in Wisconsin), and a host of research agreements at various universities (MIT, University of Campinas, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Manchester University, and others).

More than the specifics of the news striking me, is a relief that the overwhelming feeling of mass naïvite regarding the speed with which advanced biofuel production could be commercialized that engulfed much of the green world just a couple of years ago has now largely receded.

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More on Algae Biofuels:
Algae Biofuels Still Years From Commercialization: DoE
World's First Flight Powered by 100% Algae Biofuels Completed
Algae Biofuel Grown in Bioreactors Has 3.7x the Carbon Footprint of Petro-Diesel: Study

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