Exxon Sinks $600M Into Algae-Based Biofuels in Major Strategy Shift
New York Times, July 14, 2009

"Oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. is making a major jump into renewable
energy with a $600 million investment in algae-based biofuels.

Exxon is joining a biotech company, Synthetic Genomics Inc., to research
and develop next-generation biofuels produced from sunlight, water and
waste carbon dioxide by photosynthetic pond scum.

Exxon Mobil's collaboration with Synthetic Genomics will last five to
six years and will involve the creation of a new test facility in San
Diego to study algae-growing methods and oil extraction techniques.
After that, the company could invest billions of dollars more to scale
up the technology and bring it to commercial production.

While Exxon Mobil's investment marks a sea change in activity in the
sector, significant challenges remain in place to achieve wide-scale
commercial development.

Next-wave biofuels that could reduce carbon emissions and displace oil
imports are politically popular but have not moved into commercial
production as fast as supporters would have hoped."

Dr. Ann C. Wilkie                          Tel: (352)392-8699
Soil and Water Science Department          Fax: (352)392-7008
University of Florida-IFAS
P.O. Box 110960                         E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Gainesville, FL 32611-0960
Campus location: Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (Bldg. 246).
BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Society