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First Algae Biofuel Plant Set for 2013 Debut

Seaweed could join U.S. corn and Brazilian sugarcane crops as a commercial source of biofuel energy in 2013. That marks the time when Brazil plans to build the world's first industrial plant for transforming algae into biofuel.

The U.S. leads the world in biofuel production with its large supply of corn ethanol. But researchers have long tried to squeeze biofuels out of other organic matter that doesn't represent a staple food crop for humans or animals — such as algae. Brazil, the world's second largest biofuel manufacturer, seems ready to achieve that green dream in cooperation with Austrian firm SAT.

The new $9.8 million facility will take advantage of carbon dioxide waste from a sugar cane plantation that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas, according to AFP. That carbon dioxide can help speed up the growth of the seaweed.

Source: AFP via Physorg

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Live Science Staff
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