Synthetic Genomics Incorporated headed by Craig Venter will receive half of a $600 million project budget from Exxon Mobile over the next five years. The project is tasked with mass producing bio-diesel from algae. There is no word on how much bio-diesel the experiment is expected to be able to produce. But this experiment is aimed at producing commercially viable quantities.
The guardian quoted Ben Graziano, research and development manager at the Carbon Trust, saying "Exxon Mobil is estimating that algae could yield just over 20,000 litres of fuel per hectare each year, which is in line with our own forecasts. However, producing biofuel from algae on such a massive commercial scale is a major challenge, which will require many years of research and development."