August 13, 2013. Located in the heart of Corn country it’s easy to see the impact corn ethanol has had on the development of alternative fuel sources. However, continued advancements in the field of Biotechnology are promising innovative and interesting new opportunities for the development of additional Biofuel sources.

Once such source is algae, which was initially selected for large-scale Biofuel production because of its extraordinary ability to synthesize large amounts of hydrocarbon oils. A recent research study examined possible genetic engineering applications concerning a particular freshwater algal strain. This study focused on the genetic structure of a unicellular green alga, Botryococcus braunii, and evaluated its ability to be utilized in the genetic engineering of Biofuel development. The study reached the conclusion that this particular strain of algae was a promising candidate for the newest Biofuel source.

Because of the unique and interesting possibilities presented by the development of Biotech assisted Biofuels the U.S. Department of Energy is providing generous financial support to private entities researching and commercializing this technology. This includes over $22 million in new investments to help develop cost- competitive algae fuels and streamline the biomass feedstock supply chain for advanced Biofuels.

As energy demands continue to rise, Biotechnology will continue to play a critical role in the development of sustainable and cost effective Biofuel sources. Continue to monitor the Ag Lawyer on Your Side for the most up to date information regarding developments in this field.

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