Feeds

Slime-powered Toyota Prius demoed

Schwarzenegger to test motor's mettle

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Leccy Tech With pee-powered cars a very real possibility, it shouldn't come as a shock that we may soon be driving vehicles that run on green slime.

Well, algae, to be more precise. The Algaeus is a modified plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius that, instead of unleaded, uses an algal biofuel developed by Sapphire Energy.

Sapphire grows the algae in salt-water ponds at a plant in New Mexico. Add a little CO2, a sprinkling of sunlight and - with the help of a proprietary microbial process - you end up with a hydrocarbon fuel that Sapphire CEO Jason Pyle said is neither alcohol-based nor an additive.

Algae_vehicle

The Algaeus: runs on algae

On the face of it, Sapphire’s fuel seems a sound idea. You have a method of fuel generation that doesn't rely on fresh water, doesn't needlessly use up valuable farmland and eats up CO2 emitted by other industrial processes.

Sapphire has already raised $100m (£61m/€69m) in venture capital and signed contracts with Boeing and Continental Airlines to develop algal aviation fuels.

The firm is also working on a new demonstration facility capable of producing 2m gallons of auto fuel and 1m gallons of jet fuel each year.

Those figures are a long way from the sort of the production scale needed to have any real impact on North America’s fossil fuel demand, but it’s a start.

The Algaeus car is currently on a ten-day tour of North America, which will include a stopover in Sacramento where Governor Schwarzenegger is apparently planning to pour a container of the green slime into the car's fuel tank. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
Vote now for LOHAN's stirring mission patch motto
Does the shed actually know no bounds, or what?
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.