Press Release
April 22, 2011


The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) is supporting the expansion of research and development (R&D) into the use of algae as a biofuel, which is not a food source and therefore does not compete with agricultural crops in the use of arable land.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of COMSTE, said that more countries are developing the use of algae as a biofuel and that the Philippines should continue to support research in this and other Renewable Energy (RE) sources.

He mentioned that the United States has introduced legislation that would include the use of algae as a biofuel to help fight climate change and to wean off fossil fuels.

The legislation aims, "To amend the Clean Air Act to include algae-based biofuel in the renewable fuel program and amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include algae-based biofuel in the cellulosic biofuel producer credit."

He said that this marks the significant potential the scientists and legislators see in algal biofuels, and that the country should not lose momentum in supporting local initiatives to develop the biofuel.

Angara said that COMSTE partners from Alson's Aquaculture and the Ateneo Innovation Center (AIC) have been collaborating as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to study the use of algae as a biofuel.

COMSTE reports that initial experiments in the country demonstrate that the use of algae as a biofuel has high potential, and it can also be used as a carbon capture mechanism when coupled with coal-fired plants.

The team from the AIC and Alsons, plus two other photo bio-reactor companies aims to study optimal conditions that will promote the growth of algae and the cleaning of coal fired plants by placing nearby aquaculture ponds.

Angara said that this collaboration can eventually lead to the development of a proposed National Project in Algae, which can jumpstart the expansion of the new biofuel.

The Centre for Sustainable Aquaculture Research in Wales reports that the algae biofuel industry had an estimated value of $700 million in 2004, and is continuing to grow.

The US- based National Renewable Energy Laboratory is currently studying the most viable strains of algae that they can use as a renewable energy source to produce diesel, gasoline and even jet fuel.

Angara noted that the developments in algal research present new opportunities for the country to partner with countries like the US that are serious in research.

News Latest News Feed