September 23, 2009

The Algaeus: 150MPG Algae Fueled Toyota (TM) Prius Makes Debut

Algae fuel enters the limelight once again. Several we weeks ago, I wrote about Exxon Mobile’s foray into the algae energy space and in the past few days, the first algae fueled car hit the road in a publicity stunt for the film FUEL. The film is a Sundance file winner for best documentary and takes a look at an alternative energy future.

A 2008 Toyota Prius, dubbed the Algaeus is expected to finish the cross country tour in NYC on Friday. The car was modified a bit with an extra battery pack and advanced energy management system, but the engine wasn’t modified in any way to accommodate the algae based fuel. That’s the beauty of algae fuel – it works with the existing petroleum infrastructure and can be refined into gas, diesel and jet fuel. Not to mention it’s not dependent on valuable farmland like ethanol is.

Privately held Sapphire Energy is providing the algae based mixed fuel which will run the Algaeus 150mpg. Granted, it’s only a 5% mix and it’s going to be many years before you see algae based fuel at the pump, but algae based fuel is an exciting endeavor that will be interesting to follow in the coming years.

The Algaeus/FUEL tour began in SF on Sept 8th and ends in NYC this Friday, culminating in the theatrical release of FUEL. The tour stopped in Erie, PA today and heads to DC tomorrow.

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