Right now, researchers are working with three promising sources of biofuel: sorghum, algae, and cyanobacteria.
A low-water crop that resembles sugarcane, sorghum can produce ethanol at a much higher volume per acre than corn. Algae and cyanobacteria both produce lipids that can be converted to energy.
Though these endeavors are just beginning to be commercially viable, interest is high and research is well worth the investment. Experts agree that these will all become viable energy sources in a few short years and are expected to provide an alternative to fossil fuels.
For this, Arizona provides the perfect test laboratory. All three crops grow well in Arizona's warm, sunny climate. The Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AZCATI) at Arizona State University, boasting the world’s largest algae test bed, is a hub for advancements in algae energy, and biofuels, and other algae based products. The U.S. Department of Energy has selected the facility as the first ever national algae testbed. Find out how these crops are raised in test fields or watch the videos below to discover how Arizona's universities are leaders in the biofuel experiment.