The algae-ethanol question

This makes me wonder what wild marine phytoplankton might have sufficient sugars to warrant ethanol production, or actually produce ethanol. This article seems to imply that Algenol’s algae are pumping ethanol into water somewhere, but it’s unclear if that is the medium or just water in the cell.
clipped from

New York Times

Algae Farm Aims to Turn Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel

Algenol grows algae in troughs filled with saltwater that becomes saturated with carbon dioxide.

Published: June 28, 2009

Dow Chemical and Algenol Biofuels, a start-up company, are set to announce Monday that they will build a demonstration plant that, if successful, would use algae to turn carbon dioxide into ethanol as a vehicle fuel or an ingredient in plastics.

“We give them the oxygen, we get very pure carbon dioxide, and the output is very cheap ethanol,” said Mr. Woods, who said the target price was $1 a gallon.

The company has 40 bioreactors in Florida, and as part of the demonstration project plans 3,100 of them on a 24-acre site at Dow’s Freeport, Tex., site.
Algenol and its partners are planning a demonstration plant that could produce 100,000 gallons a year. The company and its partners were spending more than $50 million, said Mr. Woods, but not all of that was going into the pilot plant.
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