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Directory:Biodiesel from Algae Oil

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The advantages of deriving biodiesel from algae include rapid growth rates, a high per-acre yield; and algae biofuel contains no sulfur, is non-toxic, and is highly biodegradable. Some species of algae are ideally suited to biodiesel production due to their high oil content--in some species, topping out near 50%.

Contents

Overview

  • Algae: 'The ultimate in renewable energy' - Some types of algae are about 50 percent oil, suitable for biodiesel. The U.S. government has been experimenting with algae off and on for 18 years. There may be hundreds of thousands of species not yet identified. (CNN; March 25, 2008)

About Algae

  • Oilgae.com - Biodiesel from Algae Oil – Info, Resources, News & Links
    Algae range from small, single-celled organisms to multi-cellular organisms, some with fairly complex differentiated form. Algae are usually found in damp places or bodies of water and thus are common in terrestrial as well as aquatic environments. Like plants, algae require primarily three components to grow: sunlight, carbon-di-oxide & water. Photosynthesis is an important biochemical process in which plants, algae, and some bacteria convert the energy of sunlight to chemical energy. The existing large-scale natural sources are of algae are: Bogs, marshes & swamps - Salt marshes and salt lakes. Microalgae contain lipids and fatty acids as membrane components, storage products, metabolites and sources of energy. Algae contain anywhere between 2% and 40% of lipids/oils by weight. There are three well-known methods to extract the oil from oilseeds, and these methods should apply equally well for algae too: 1. Expeller/Press 2. Hexane solvent oil extraction 3. Supercritical Fluid extraction

Biomass Yield

These are the yields obtained in stable cultures during an entire year, as reported by the Aquatic Species Program. All other results from that program show either unstable growth or yields obtained over short periods of time (often, during winter months when algae productivity drops significantly, the Aquatic Species Program discontinued the cultures.)

Metric Tons/Hectare/Year

M. minutum (algae), 1989.....35.8
M. minutum (algae), 1989.....30.3
M. minutum (algae), 1990.....38.3
Algae (no species mentioned), 1978.....43.8
Algae (no species mentioned), 1978.....51.1
Sugarcane.....79.2 [Brazilian average, 2005]
Sorghum.....70 [Average for Andhra Pradesh, India, 2005]
Cassava.....65 [Nigeria, 1985]
Oil palm.....50 [Global average, including low yields in Africa; in Malaysia, average yields are 75 MT/ha/yr]
Arundo Donax.....50 [Grown in sub-tropics, Handbook of Energy Crops]

Oil Yield

Gallons of Oil per Acre per Year
Corn . . . . . . . 15
Soybeans . . . .48
Safflower. . . . . 83
Sunflower . . . 102
Rapeseed. . . 127
Oil Palm . . . . 635
Micro Algae . .1850 [based on actual biomass yields]
Micro Algae . .5000-15000 [theoretical laboratory yield]

Videos

  • Videos:Algae as Fuel - A collection of videos and video links regarding the turning of algae into oil, hydrogen, ethanol and other useful fuels. (PESWiki; April 19, 2008)

Featured

Do It Yourself

  • Store: DIY > Biodiesel > from Algae >
    Making Algae Biodiesel at Home - Downloadable 650-page book provides detailed instructions on how to sustainably produce clean oil from algae -- in your back yard -- enough to supply your transportation and home power needs. This is not a simple, afternoon venture, but a serious, long-term commitment.
  • Making Algae Photobioreactors at Home A download with step-by-step instructions on making an algae test bioreactor. You can easily test 10 different algal strains, or 10 different variables at the same time. "When I went looking for a algae photobioreactor for my own studies, I saw similar PBR’s selling for $10,000 -$20,000 USD or more. So I built one."

Companies

  • AlgaeLink Retailer of photobioreactors and commercial algae cultivation equipment. Offers full support for operations, potential distributorship opportunities.
  • Aquaflow Binomic Corporation (ABC) - harvests algae directly from the settling ponds of standard Effluent Management (EM) Systems and other nutrient-rich water. The process can be used in many industries that produce a waste stream, including the transport, dairy, meat and paper industries.
  • Aquatic Energy - An Alternative Energy company specializing in the Louisiana Gulf area for turing algal oils into biofuel.
  • Aurora BioFuels, Inc. A renewable energy company exploring new sources of feedstock for the production of biofuels. In particular, Aurora utilizes microalgae to generate bio-oil, which can be converted into biodiesel.
  • Blue Marble energy - A company that converts algae biomass to energy by creating, centralizing, and harvesting wild algae blooms.
  • Dynamic Biogenics - Developer and manufacturer of low-cost, scalable, portable algae bioreactors that utilize high yield algae that can be used for biofuels, ethanol, livestock feed and other bio-products. Units can be retrofitted to flue stacks or operated independently.
  • GreenFuel Technologies Emissions-to-Biofuels™ (E2B™) process harnesses photosynthesis to grow algae, capture CO2 and produce high-energy biomass. Retrofitting fossil-fired power plants and other anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide, the algae can be economically converted to solid fuel, methane, or liquid transportation fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol.
  • GreenShift has a license agreement with Ohio University for its patented bioreactor process based on a newly discovered iron-loving cyanobacterium (blue-green algae), through their subsidiary Veridium, for the purpose of air pollution control of exhaust gas streams from electrical utility fossil-fueled power generation facilities. Once the algae grow to maturity, they fall to the bottom of the bioreactor and are harvested for fuel or fertilizer.
  • Green Star Products - GSPI's HAPS Algae Systems & GSPI's Biodiesel Technology: A Real Solution To Peak Oil & Global Warming
  • Infinifuel Biodiesel - Wabuska Nevada is home to the world's first geothermally powered and heated biodiesel plant. We have over 300 acres to grow oilseed and develop algae ponds on site.
  • Inventure Chemical - Pioneered the processes that allow biofuel developers to ultimately make the dream of affordable biofuels a reality by the application of cost effective conversion and processing methods working with a variety of feedstocks - from algae produced from CO2 emissions to exotic and not so exotic oil seeds and biomass.
  • Kai BioEnergy - Kai BioEnergy Corp. (KAI) is an alternative biofuel company competitively positioned to become a leading large scale commercial producer of economical biodiesel crude oil from micro-algae biomass using KAI’s patented and proprietary cost efficient open reactor technology and fully integrated continuous production system.
  • LiveFuels - A national alliance of labs and scientists dedicated to transforming algae into biocrude by the year 2010. Working on breeding various strains of algae, driving down the costs of harvesting algae and extracting fats and oils from the algae. Theoretically, the U.S. could grow enough algae on 20 million acres to replace imported oil.
  • OriginOil - Novel technology at the microscopic scale can enhance the efficiency of algae production as a high-yield, cost-competitive replacement for petroleum. In the growth phase, nutrients are fractured and injected into algae culture. In the extraction phase, fracturing breaks the tough outer membrane of the algae in an energy-efficient manner.
    • OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL), the developer of a breakthrough technology to help transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum, announced today the recent filing of its second patent application.

The patent application, "Apparatus and Method for Optimizing Photosynthetic Growth in a Photo Bioreactor," discloses OriginOil's invention of a system designed to increase and optimize photosynthetic growth of an algae culture. This system, known as the Helix BioReactor™, is the core algae growth system that will be used in OriginOil's prototypes, pilots and full-scale production systems.

"The key to dependable, high algae yield is continuous lighting of multiple growth planes," said Nicholas Eckelberry, Director of Development and an inventor of the Helix Bioreactor. "In a natural pond, the sun only illuminates one growth plane, down to about half an inch below the surface. In contrast, the Helix Bioreactor features a rotating vertical shaft with very low energy lights arranged in a helix or spiral pattern, which results in a theoretically unlimited number of layers. Additionally, each lighting element is engineered to produce specific light waves and frequencies for optimal algae growth. By giving algae only the light it needs, throughout the growth tank, all of the time, we're growing algae quickly and cost-effectively." (Press Release; May 27, 2008)

  • PetroAlgae - Commercializing an environmentally-friendly algae developed by a research team at ASU that generates over two hundred times more oil per acre than crops like soybeans. Using a cost-effective, modular cultivation process that can be massively scaled, PetroAlgae will produce renewable feed stock oils for use in applications such as transportation fuels (e.g. biodiesel), heating oil, and plastics.
  • PetroSun - Through their wholly owned subsidiary Algae BioFuels and industry partner Electratherm, is committed to becoming a worldwide leader in the development and deployment of renewable energy resources.
  • Seambiotic - As they have already developed and produced algae, their main goal is to market algae as a nutritional supplement for humans as well as animals and bio-energy concentrating on a few marine unicellular algae containing high value products.
    • Algae-based Biofuels from Power Plant Emissions, Redux - Inventure Chemical and Seambiotic have announced that they have formed a joint venture to construct a pilot commercial biofuel plant with algae created from CO2 emissions as a feedstock. The plant will use algae strains that Seambiotic has developed coupled with conversion processes developed by Inventure to created ethanol, biodiesel and other chemicals.(TreeHugger; June 20, 2008)
  • Solazyme - Devoted to harnessing the energy-harvesting machinery of various species of algae to produce valuable products. The Company utilizes proprietary genetic engineering methods to develop and optimize commercially relevant biochemical pathways for production of hydrocarbons (for energy and specialty chemicals) & bioactive compounds.
  • Solena Group - Uses high temperatures to gasify algae and other organic substances with high-energy outputs.
  • Solix Biofuels - A developer of massively scaleable photo-bioreactors for the production of biodiesel and other valuable bio-commodities from algae oil. Solix’ closed photo-bioreactors allow fossil-fuel power plant exhaust to be captured through the growing system. The algae growth rates increase in the presence of the carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere.
  • *Texas Clean Fuels - Founded by Harvard inventor & entrepreneur, Jonathan Gal, TCF provides technology licensing, equipment, & consulting services to algae producers throughout the USA. Using our technology, producers can achieve a production cost of less than $20 per barrel for crude algae oil.
  • Valcent Products - Has developed a high density vertical bio-reactor for the mass production of oil bearing algae while removing large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. This new bio-reactor is tailored to grow a species of algae that yields a large volume of high grade vegetable oil, which is very suitable for blending with diesel to create a bio-diesel fuel.

3.16 Minutes Vertical Algae biofuel Growing
Valcent's own video of Vertigro. (You Tube Feb. 1, 2008)

Research & Development

  • 'First Economical Process' For Making Biodiesel Fuel From Algae - One of the problems with current methods for producing biodiesel from algae oil is the processing cost. Researchers from New York say their innovative process is at least 40 percent cheaper than that of others now being used. (Science Daily; March 31, 2009)
  • Success For First Outdoor, Large-Scale Algae-To-Biofuel Research Project In Nevada - The first real-world, demonstration-scale project in Nevada for turning algae into biofuel has successfully completed the initial stage of research at the University of Nevada, Reno. The project is on track to show the process is an economical, commercially viable renewable energy source in Nevada. (PhysOrg; Jan. 29, 2009)
  • Green Star Announces Algae Breakthrough - Biotech Research, Inc., a consortium partner of Green Star, has confirmed a daily growth rate increase of 34% using the “Montana Micronutrient Booster (MMB)" formula for a micronutrient formula to increase the growth rate of algae biomass. This growth rate booster can increase the total biomass quantity in a harvest algae growth cycle by well over 100%. (Business Wire; May 22, 2008)
  • GreenShift's CO2 Bioreactor - Patented process uses algae to consume greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fueled power plants, giving off pure oxygen and water vapor. Light from concentrated solar panels is conducted into the algae chambers via fiber optics. Once the algae grows to maturity, it is harvested for conversion into ethanol and biodiesel fuels.
  • There's Oil in That Slime - A group at the University of Minnesota are in the race to turn algae into a commercially viable energy source by developing ways to grow mass quantities of algae, identifying promising strains and figuring out what they can make from the residue that remains after the oil is removed. (PhysOrg; Nov. 29, 2007)

In the News

  • Biofuels > Algae > Biodiesel >
    Solar + Water + C02 = Diesel? - Joule Biotechnologies and its competitors are attempting to utilize proprietary microorganisms that turn photons, water, and C02 directly into drop-in fuels. Their systems have a "solar converter" which can be thought of as solar walls (but not cells) that absorb photons while managing optical density so their proprietary bugs get all the photons they need. (GreenTechMedia; March 5, 2010)
  • Hawaiian Marine Algae - Cellana, a joint venture of HR Biopetroleum and Royal Dutch Shell is doing a pilot project to grow and refine algae for biofuels. The company is already producing transport fuels and is building a bigger, demonstration plant. First commercial operation: 3 years. (NewEnergyNews; June 27, 2008)
  • OILGAE TEST DRIVE: Algae Power Hits the Road - Algae produces 30 times more energy per acre than corn or soybeans and can grow in salt water, our worlds most abundant source. There are several startups bringing pond scum to fuel tanks, among them Solazyme who were caught driving around Sundance Film Festival this year with an oilgae-powered car. (Inhabitat; April 15, 2008)
  • WMU Researchers Create Biofuels from Waste Oil & Algae - Researchers at Western Michigan University (WMU) are working to develop two biofuel production processes; Bronco Biodiesel, is to perfect a process to convert trap grease, used vegetable oil from restaurants and other facilities and the second project will attempt to find a viable algae strain that could be used for both waste treatment and as a feedstock for biodiesel or ethanol production. (Renewable Energy World; April 15, 2008)
  • US Algae Association Hosts Forum - The US National Algae Association is hosting a business plan and networking forum on 10 April in The Woodlands, Texas, at which early stage algae production companies will showcase their ventures in front of an audience of algae researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and lenders. (Green Car Congress; Feb. 21, 2008)
  • Algae grows in the dark - Solazyme is growing algae in fermentation tanks, sustained by sugar, rather than photosynthetically in the open. Their focus is on large-scale, high-density, cost effective cultivation of algae and production economics. (Green Car Congress; Feb. 11, 2008)
  • Biofuel Microalgae Research - Texas AgriLife Research and General Atomics have received a $4 million grant for research aimed at developing microalgae-derived biodiesel fuels to support US domestic and military needs. This includes evaluating algae strains, developing and testing algae production systems and algae/oil separation systems. (Green Car Congress; Feb. 4, 2008)
  • Biodiesel algae grows in winter - Green Star Products says it has grown algae in outdoor environments where temperatures dropped to -18 degrees Celsius and that saw plenty of snowfall. This sort of "controlled algae growing environment at an affordable capital and maintenance cost" is something that "has eluded engineers for more than three decades." (AutoblogGreen; Feb. 2, 2008)
  • Florida Tech Receives Grant for Algal Biofuels Research - The Florida Tech-Aurora Biofuels research focuses on developing biodiesel from microalgae, with animal feed co-products to improve the economics. They will test algal strains for long-term outdoor production viability and develop a low-cost sedimentation process to harvest the algae. (Green Car Congress; Jan. 28, 2008)
  • First Algal Biodiesel Tested - Solazyme has road tested Soladiesel, its first algal biodiesel, and is currently producing thousands of gallons of algal oil. Solazyme also has signed a feedstock agreement with Chevron and is researching production of algal biocrude oil designed to match light sweet crude oil. (Green Car Congress; Jan. 22, 2008)
  • PetroSun BioFuels to Build 30M Gallon Algal Biodiesel Plant - PetroSun BioFuels Refining has entered into a joint venture to construct and operate a biodiesel plant in Arizona using algal oil feedstock produced by PetroSun BioFuels. The residual algae biomass will be processed into ethanol. Construction should commence during the third quarter of 2008. (Green Car Congress; Jan. 10, 2008)
  • Aquatic Energy Planning for 5M Barrels of Algae Fuel - Aquatic Energy is harvesting algae in Lousiana and turning it into BioDiesel, by taking CO2 from local industry and pumping it into algae ponds which are harvested every three to five days. One acre of soy can produce 1 barrel of biodiesel a in a year, while algae produces between 1500-2000 barrels. (EcoGeek; Jan. 9, 2008)
  • Better BioDiesel to Acquire GeoAlgae - Better BioDiesel has announced the execution of a letter of intent (LOI) with GeoAlgae Technologies (GAT), a vertically integrated energy technology company with a focus on producing low cost, renewable feedstock for the production of biodiesel using feedstock from geologic resources. (Renewable Energy Access; Jan. 8, 2008)
  • Joint Venture for Algal Biofuel Production - Shell and HR Biopetroleum have formed a joint venture—Cellena—to build a pilot facility in Hawaii to grow marine algae and produce vegetable oil for conversion into biofuel. Construction will begin immediately on the demonstration facility that will grow only non-modified, marine microalgae species in open-air ponds. (Green Car Congress; Dec. 11, 2007)
  • Coal-to-Liquids Algae Bioreactor - Linc Energy has formed a joint venture with BioCleanCoal to develop an algae bioreactor for the conversion of process CO2 into oxygen and biomass. It will allow Linc Energy to produce clean ‘green’ power and oil (diesel) from Underground Coal Gasification (UCG). (Green Car Congress; Nov. 21, 2007)
  • Commercial Algae-to-Biodiesel Facility - Green Star Products and Biotech Research will build a 100-acre commercial algae facility adjacent to an existing biodiesel plant and will use the CO2 emitted from the plant’s boilers to provide a portion of the needs of the algae facility. The algae oil produced will be turned into biodiesel through the existing plant facilities. (Green Car Congress; Nov. 13, 2007)
  • Developing 'Algae to Oil' for Many Applications - International Energy has launched its "algae to oil" research and development initiatives to produce renewable diesel and jet fuel based entirely on the photosynthesis of algae, which have the unique capability of taking carbon dioxide and converting it into a high-density natural oil. (Renewable Energy Access; Nov. 7, 2007)
  • Chevron and NREL to Research Fuel from Algae - Chevron and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have agreed to study technology to produce liquid transportation fuels using algae. Although NREL’s past research on algal biofuels focused on biodiesel, the lab has been interested in kerosene-like fuel and military jet fuels. (Green Car Congress; Oct. 31, 2007)
  • The Greenest Green Fuel - Looking for a clean fuel that grows anywhere, needs only sunlight and water, and could produce enough oil to free the U.S. from its petroleum addiction? Here’s one start-up’s plan for converting oil from algae—yes, algae. (Popular Science; Jul. 2007)
  • Algae Research and Development Center Begins Operation - The Vertigro process is now mass producing rapidly-growing algae to be used as biofuel feedstock, proving that a closed loop bioreactor system can successfully produce algae over an extended period. Production partners in Portugal and South Africa have signed on. (Renewable Energy Access; Sep. 28, 2007)
  • 2nd generation algae bioreactors - Dutch company AlgaeLink will intoduce their latest photo-bioreactors designed to grow algae for biodiesel production at Biodiesel Expo in England in October. The company claims its equipment can produce 6x more algae than other systems and its algae culture can grow in cold water. (AutoblogGreen; Sep. 23, 2007)
  • Algae Feedstock in Plasma Reactor - W2 Energy will test various algae products in its biomass plasma reactor (BPR), for plasma assisted conversion of biomass to liquid fuel. It efficiently produces green energy, both fuel (sulfur free diesel) and electricity, using the plasma as a high temperature catalyst. (Yahoo! Finance; Sep. 13, 2007)
  • Lower-Cost Algae Production System - Diversified Energy has a license for an algae production system invented by XL Renewables called Simgae (for simple algae), which utilizes common agriculture and irrigation components to keep costs to a minimum. Oil production costs are estimated at $0.08 – $0.12/pound, compared to feedstock oils from $0.25 – $0.44/pound. (Green Car Congress; Aug. 28, 2007)
  • Algae Biodiesel Startup - Inventure has developed technology that it says can process a variety of fresh and salt water algae species and generate biodiesel and ethanol from the same algae mass. The company claims that its process generates near the theoretical maximum triglyceride and fatty acid conversion yields to fatty acid methyl or ethyl esters. (Green Car Congress; Aug. 22, 2007)
  • DOE Grant for Research on Algae to Biodiesel - Community Fuels has been awarded a Research Grant from the Department of Energy SBIR/STTR Program to evaluate two processes to use agricultural waste as a resource for commercial-scale algal oils development and production into biodiesel. The results will potentially unlock a low-cost feedstock for the biodiesel industry. (Renewable Energy Access; Jul. 24, 2007)
  • Solazyme to supply algae oil - Solazyme is to start supplying oil derived from algae feedstock to biodiesel maker Imperium Renewables. Solazyme does not feel it is at commercialization economics with the technology yet, but said the company is a lot closer than many people believe algae is currently. "We'll be delivering agreed-upon quantities [to Imperium] this year." (Inside Greentech; Jun. 6, 2007)
  • LiveFuels biocrude by 2010 - LiveFuels plans to cost-effectively produce large amounts of biocrude oil derived from algae by 2010. The company plans to then sell the oil to others, or as last resort, to refine it itself. Avoiding costly bioreactors and genetically modified algae, the company plans to grow vast amounts of biomass very cheaply in open ponds. (Inside Greentech; May 31, 2007)
  • GreenStar Algae Demonstration Facility - Green Star Products has completed Phase I of its microalgae demonstration pond, to resolve operational problems which have plagued the algae production industry. GSPI’s Hybrid Algae Production System incorporates the controlled environment of closed photobioreactors with the inexpensive construction of an open pond system. (Green Car Congress; May 11, 2007)
  • BioKing commercializes small algae bioreactors - Netherlands-based BioKing today introduced new, small scale photo-bioreactors designed to produce algae for biodiesel production. “With our fast growing algae and our advanced photo-bioreactor, it only takes four days to be in full production and to collect the first algae. And the cost of biodiesel feedstock will only be 5-10 cents a liter.��? (Inside Greentech; Apr. 23, 2007)
  • NRG Energy testing GreenFuel's algae system - NRG Energy and GreenFuel Technologies have started testing GreenFuel’s algae-to-biofuels technology at a 1,489 megawatt coal power plant in Louisiana. The process uses algae to capture and reduce flue gas carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere, which can then be converted into biofuels. (Inside Greentech; Apr. 13, 2007)
  • Biodiesel from Algae in Argentina - Argentine company Oil Fox announced they would produce biodiesel from algae oil for commercial use at 50% less cost than biodiesel produced from soy. They will grow four species of algae in “secret��? pools (to avoid industrial espionage, they claim), to produce 240 thousand tons of biodiesel. (TreeHugger; Mar. 20, 2007)
  • Harvesting algae blooms from the open ocean - AlgoDyne Ethanol Energy has developed a new process to harvest biomass from marine algal blooms, that occur in almost all oceans of the world, often caused by man-made nutrient pollution. It could yield huge amounts of biomass usable for ethanol and biodiesel production at virtually no cost. (Biopact; Mar. 1, 2007)
  • Making Biofuel from Pond Scum - Algae could produce 100 times more biodiesel per hectare than either canola or soy. It can grow on desert land and doesn't require much rain. Solix Biofuels has a strain that produces up to 50 percent of its body weight in fat and over half a batch can be harvested for oil production every day. (Renewable Energy Access; January 26, 2007)
  • PetroSun field testing Algae biodiesel - PetroSun announced that field testing of the cultivation of algae for biodiesel production is in the final stage prior to construction of a commercial facility. This stage will consist of producing adequate algae paste to test biodiesel manufacturers under consideration by subsidiary Algae Biofuels. (Market Wire; Feb. 1, 2007)
  • Scientists research algae biodiesel production - NMSU is investigating the best ways to grow and harvest certain species of algae, which produce a much higher level of oil than soybeans or canola, as a feedstock for biodiesel production. The tremendous reserves of brackish water, mild climate and abundant sunshine in New Mexico make good conditions for algae farmers. (NMSU News Releases; January 8, 2007)
  • Want alternative energy? Try pond scum - Algae is much faster than plants in converting inorganic substances into organic matter, and can be continuously harvested using only waste gas from power plants for fuel. A handful of start-up companies and countless academic programs are exploring ways to divert these gases into systems for growing algae, which can then be processed into ethanol and biodiesel. (CNET News; December 27, 2006)
  • World first wild algae bio-diesel test drive - The world’s first wild algae bio-diesel, produced in New Zealand by Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, was successfully test driven in Wellington by the Minister for Energy and Climate Change Issues. “We believe we are the first company in the world to test drive a car powered by wild algae-based bio-diesel.‿ explained an Aquaflow spokesperson. (Scoop; December 15, 2006)
  • CSU Lab Teams With Solix to Mass Produce Oil From Algae - Colorado State University engineers are working with Solix Biofuels to commercialize technology that can cheaply mass produce oil derived from algae and turn it into biodiesel. Solix officials plan to commercialize the technology over the next two years, for growing algae on unused land adjacent to power plants and ethanol plants. (Colorado State University; December 07, 2006)
  • APS, Greenfuel win Award - Arizona Public Service Company and its partner GreenFuel Technologies were recognized with the Emissions Energy Project of the Year award at the 8th Annual Platts Global Energy Awards in New York. GreenFuel’s Emissions-to-Biofuels™ technology uses an algae bioreactor system connected to the smokestack of APS' Redhawk 1,040 megawatt power to recycle carbon dioxide emissions, thereby reducing the amount of CO2 dispersed into the air, and then converts the algae into renewable biofuels. (The Energy Blog; December 02, 2006)
  • A biodiesel hotbed in Nevada - A tiny company called Infinifuel is about to begin producing biodiesel powered by geothermal energy. The access to unlimited quantities of warm water also makes the site ideal for experimentation with algae production as a biofuel stock. "If this works, it could yield up to 15,000 gallons of biodiesel an acre, much better than the 50 to 150 gallons averaged today." (Inside Greentech; November 13, 2006)
  • Alliance To Make Algae-To-Biocrude by 2010 - Funded by LiveFuels, the scientific alliance will be led by Sandia National Laboratories, a DOE laboratory, focused on producing biocrude oil by the year 2010. Thriving on sunlight and CO2, algae can be grown in fresh or brackish water on marginal lands unsuitable for food crops. (LiveFuels; October 12, 2006)
  • Widescale Biodiesel Production from Algae - Some species of algae are ideally suited to biodiesel production due to their high oil content (some well over 50% oil), and extremely fast growth rates. Algae farms would let us supply enough biodiesel to completely replace petroleum as a transportation fuel in the US (as well as its other main use - home heating oil) - but we first have to solve a few problems. (Michael Briggs, University of New Hampshire)
  • NZ firm makes bio-diesel from sewage in world first - Marlborough-based Aquaflow Bionomic yesterday announced it had produced its first sample of bio-diesel fuel from algae in sewage ponds. It is believed to be the world's first commercial production of bio-diesel from "wild" algae outside the laboratory - and the company expects to be producing at the rate of at least one million litres of the fuel each year. (The New Zealand Herald)
  • Biofuel Developer to Join US Research Hot-House - Marlborough-based biofuel developer, Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation, has made another breakthrough as the first New Zealand company to be invited to join the prestigious Girvan Institute of Technology in the United States. Aquaflow recently announced it was the first in the world to commercially produce bio-diesel fuel from algae sourced from Marlborough sewerage ponds. The Girvan Institute is a non-profit, public benefit corporation established to speed up the development of cutting edge technologies into useful products and services. (Scoop; August 30, 2006)
  • New company to produce biodiesel from algae - Algae is capable of producing 30 times more oil per acre than the current crops now utilized for the production of biofuels. Algae biofuel contains no sulfur, is non-toxic and highly biodegradable. Algae BioFuels, a subsidiary of PetroSun Drilling, will be engaged in the research and development of algae cultivation as an energy source in the production of biodiesel. (Treehugger; July, 2006)
  • Kwikpower International Plc has acquired Advanced Biofuel Technologies Inc. - Advanced Biofuel holds the license to an oil-producing micro algae developed at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
  • Oil Production from Algae - Algal oils possess characteristics similar to those of fish and vegetable oils, and can thus be considered as potential substitutes for the products of fossil oil. Direct extraction of microalgal lipids appears to be a more efficient methodology for obtaining energy from these organisms, than is the fermentation of algal biomass to produce either methane or ethanol. (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO))
  • Future of Algalculture & Algal-Biodiesel - Preparedness Systems International, with technical support from Needfull Provisions Inc, has developed the foundations of a system based on microalgal biotechnology that converts manure effluent into biodiesel. See U.S. Patent No. 5,121,708. (Needful Provision, Inc.)
  • Nanoforce Incorporates Subsidiary Energy Farms in New Mexico - Energy Farms is developing methods to cultivate and harvest small photosynthetic organisms in refinery waste for the production of biodiesel. "Micro-algae as a biomass feedstock for the production of biodiesel is an area of intense research at Energy Farms." (PrimeZone Media Network)
  • Nature's Oil Production Cycle - Essentially, after being transported in the heavy salt brine streams to great depth, algae proteins hydrolysed and pyrolysed, are the origins of oil. This is an ongoing process, and occurs rapidly, indicating that world's oil resevoirs are continually being 'topped-up'. (Salt Mrbloch Archive)
  • Plankton to Provide Clean New Oil - A system for producing energy from marine algae, to replace fossil fuels and reduce pollution, has been developed by Spanish researchers and will be operational in late 2007, according to its backers. Bernard Stroiazzo-Mougin, president of Biofuel Systems SL (BFS), the Spanish company developing the project, told IPS that "the system will produce massive amounts of biopetroleum from phytoplankton, in a limited space and at a very moderate cost." (Inter Press Service News Agency; August 4, 2006)
  • Biofuels from algae - new breakthrough claimed - A popular vision on biofuels of the future is that aquatic micro-organisms (algae and plankton) can be used as a biomass feedstock. U.S. Office of Fuels Development funded a program from 1978 through 1996 under the National Renewable Energy Laboratory known as the "Aquatic Species Program". The focus of this program was to investigate high-oil algaes that could be grown specifically for the purpose of wide scale biodiesel production. (Biopact; July 22, 2006)
  • Growing algae for biofuels in the Negev desert - Algatech in the southern Negev is turning a collective focus towards biofuels made from algae. Currently focused on products for the nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries, Algatech's 25-strong production facility based in Kibbutz Ketura will soon begin collaborating with Israeli-US start-up GreenFuel Technologies Corporation to work towards a common goal: developing cost effective, energy efficient fuel made from micro-algae feeding off of carbon dioxide emissions. (Biopact; August 17, 2006)
  • XL TechGroup creates PetroAlgae - PetroAlgae is commercializing a proprietary, environmentally-friendly algae that generates over two hundred times more energy per acre than traditional biofuel crops like soybeans. Using a cost-effective, modular cultivation process that can be massively scaled, PetroAlgae will produce renewable feed stock oils for use in applications such as transportation fuels (e.g. biodiesel), heating oil, and plastics. The algae can be grown in many areas, including those regarded as wasteland. The algae mature within 24 hours, permitting daily harvesting, and 50% of its weight is usable oil. To harvest, the oil is simply pressed from the algae. (XL TechGroup; September 28, 2006)

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  • An in-depth look at biofuels from algae - This article shows that actual biomass yields for algae obtained in the field are disappointingly low. The yields indicated are real results, not projected, preferred of imagined results.

Several companies have issued press releases about technologies using closed photobioreactors to produce biofuels from algae, claiming 'enormous' amounts of biomass that can be turned into liquid fuels at low cost. Sadly, after decades of development, none of those projects have worked on a large scale or over a long time period. It is time to have a look at the possible reasons. (Biopact; January 18, 2007)

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