The first product from our algae-based technology platform is ethanol primarily intended for transportation fuel.
The worldwide transportation fuel market is enormous, expanding and essential to the daily lives and livelihoods of billions of people in economies large and small. The International Energy Outlook report from September 2011 predicts a world-wide increase of 53% from 2008 to 2035 of energy consumption, mainly driven by non-OECD nations.
The world petroleum consumption in 2011 was 88M barrels per day or 1.34T gallons per year. This equates to a market size of approximately $3 trillion at the 2011 year-end WTI crude price of approximately $100 per barrel. The U.S. consumption of petroleum in 2011 was 18.84M barrels per day or 288B gallons per year. This represents a market size of about $650B per year for just the U.S. Crude oil is refined into a variety of products, including gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, petrochemicals and other products. In 2011, the U.S. alone used 134 billion gallons of transportation fuel.
Ethanol in the U.S. is mainly produced from corn in the Midwest region using long established technology then blended with gasoline for retail sale. In the U.S. the low-level blend of a 10% ethanol with gasoline (E10) is ubiquitous but higher-level blends such as E85 are less common. In 2011, the U.S. produced 13.9 billion gallons of fuel ethanol, accounting for approximately 10% of total U.S. transportation fuel consumption. An important milestone in growing the market for renewable transportation fuel was recently established with the approval of E15 for sale in the U.S. According to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), world ethanol production rose to approximately 26 billion gallons in 2011. The U.S. and Brazil are the world’s largest producers of ethanol.
Algenol’s goal is to produce 20 billion gallons per year of low cost ethanol by 2033.