LiveFuels raises $10M to turn algae into alternative fuel

LiveFuels, a Menlo Park, Calif. company seeking to turn algae into an alternative fuel, has raised a $10 million round of capital.

The investor was David Gelbaum at the Quercus Trust, which has previously backed environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Wildlands Conservancy.


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We reported earlier that LiveFuels was looking to raise the money, and ran a column by LifeFuels’ founding investor Rich Hilt about why using algae makes sense.

Why algae? Well, as the company puts it, the slimy critters…
* are naturally comprised of up to 60 percent oil.
* grow happily in marginalized lands where corn fears to tread.
* can be grown in fresh or brackish water (saltier water algae are oilier)
* thrive on sunlight, CO2 and nutrient rich agricultural run-off and waste.
* offer per acre yields that are 250 times that of soybeans.

You know things are hot in the clean-tech area when several algae companies emerge to do the same thing. Berkeley s Aurora BioFuels and Menlo Park’s Solazyme Inc. have also raised recent rounds.

LiveFuels hopes to have its biofuel ready by 2010.

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