The U.S. National Research Council said biofuels cannot yet be made from algae on a large scale because the process requires unsustainable levels of energy, water and fertilizer. So reports Reuters.
Jennie Hunter-Cevera, the head of the committee that published the report, said this means biofuels are likely not ready to supply even a small fraction of U.S. fuel needs.
The assessment was requested by the Department of Energy, which has awarded three companies more than $100 million in grants and loan guarantees to produce commercial quantities of biofuel from algae.
Algal biofuels have also previously received support from President Obama.
An Energy Department spokeswoman told Reuters the report shows there’s more research and development needed to make algal biofuel sustainable and cost-effective.
The council study also said it was unclear producing biofuel from algae would actually lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, Reuters said.
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