At first blush, algae seemed an ideal biofuel replacement for gasoline. Unlike ethanol, for example, it wouldn’t take food from the poor, utilize key agriculture lands, or require lots of pesticides. But the economics have thus far proven to be algae’s Achilles heel, and so some former algae startups are turning to more profitable products, using “green” chemistry to replace petrochemicals or unsustainable bio-based oils.
Their products are targeted at a variety of markets, including chemicals, such as solvents or airplane deicing fluid; “nutritionals,” fiber, fats, and flavors for the packaged food industry; and cosmetics and personal care products such as lotion and shampoo.
Keywords: algae, biofuel, biooil, nutrition, food, green chemicals, bioplastics
Source: Forbes.com, 2011-07-29.