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I've been reading a bit about algae fuel. It sounds like people did some work and then decided it was too difficult. This link mentions Exxon's work:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel#Commercial_Viability

And this next link shows the ex-CEO of Exxon talking about how they wanted an algae genetically modified to secrete oil, so they didn't have to kill and harvest it. He then says they encountered a low-level problem with the basic science, but doesn't elaborate.

https://youtu.be/vGv0R3zJ3cc?t=4m26s

Anyone know what that problem was?

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