The United States. The idea of producing biofuels from algae seems to have been first mentioned in the 1950s in conjunction with an experiment at MIT where micro-algae was cultivated on a rooftop. During the 1950s, methane from algae was studied at Berkeley, with the first real systems analysis published in 1960. The Aquatic Species Program was launched in 1978 with funding from the US Department of Energy in a response to the fuel price shocks of the 1970s, in the hopes of making biofuel production a viable alternative to fossil fuels. A pilot plant was built in Roswell, New Mexico about this time to test the theory. Today, biofuel from algae is produced in at least 9 countries. Considering that it’s cleaner and more efficient to produce biofuels from algae than from corn or other grains, this is a promising technology in which interest is increasing.
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