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Jacintha's Blog

UABC Researchers Mutate Dunaliella salina Using Ultra-violet Rays for Increased Production
of Triglycerides

A team of researchers from the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC), Mexico have isolated a new high yielding strain from a lake in San Quintin for the increased production of lipids. Researchers from the Meredith Gould Chambers of UABC under Dr Jose Luis Stephano Hornedo are working on the isolation of high lipid yielding strains. According to Dr Jose the isolated strain does not require fresh water for its growth and will produce oil 200 times more than traditional oil crops.

The team has chosen Dunaliella salina for its project. The strain was mutated with ultraviolet rays for increasing the triglyceride concentration. The mutated strain was then grown in a medium containing salt water, glycerol, urea, sodium bicarbonate and a fertilizer containing phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium in tanks exposed to natural light. As the project is in a pilot phase the algae will be grown in 10 closed tanks of 800L each.

The cultivated algae will then be concentrated using a centrifuge and then the cells will be disrupted to release the oil. Then biodiesel will be produced by transesterification process, and the waste glycerin will be used in other industries. By this pilot plant the team will be able to produce protein rich aquaculture feed as well. As they cultivate algae in sea water the use of fresh water could be avoided.

Their project is supported by fishing co-operative in the Baja California Coast and the Meredith Gould lab hopes to start a new industry in the region.

Read More

Thu June 16 2011 02:52:25 PM by Jacintha 28

USDA advisoray recommends algae for funding !!

 A study making its way around the Agriculture Department raises doubts about the prospects for biofuels made from crop residue and other types of plant cellulose and calls for shifting the focus of government research funding.
A USDA advisory committee report suggested putting more money into algae and oil crops, which are alternatives to making ethanol from corn stalks or grasses.
'After two decades of research without a sustainable technical breakthrough to make cellulosic ethanol competitive, it appears that it is time to re-evaluate the research,' the report said.
One of the biggest hurdles to commercializing cellulosic ethanol has been the challenge of finding economical and practical ways to harvest, transport and store the massive amounts of biomass that would be needed.
The report said the government should see if logistical challenges can be overcome by focusing on using the biomass as a feedstock for generating electricity.
A Poet LLC project proposed for Emmetsburg would consume 770 tons of corn cobs, husks and leaves daily. The USDA is offering subsidies of $45 a ton to help cover biomass costs, but the program has no funding after 2012.
'It's just overwhelming, the logistics' involved in making cellulosic ethanol, said Bill Horan, a Rockwell City farmer who is on the 10-member advisory committee.
'We think there is maybe more potential in algae right now than cellulosics.'
The Obama administration has been pushing cellulosic ethanol as an answer to concerns about using food crops for biofuels and a way of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
Two projects are under development in Iowa that would make ethanol from corn stover ? Poet's and one recently proposed by DuPont, parent of Pioneer Hi-Bred, and Danisco of Denmark. The Iowa Power Fund last week agreed to negotiate with DuPont-Danisco on a $19.5 million grant requested by the joint venture for the $350 million project. No site has been announced.
Poet has been testing harvesting methods and recently started work on a 22-acre storage site with a capacity for 23,000 tons of stover.
A third company, Fiberight LLC, is planning to make ethanol at Blairstown from municipal garbage and paper-plant waste, feedstocks that have neither the logistical challenges nor acquisition costs of corn residue.
Industry officials insist that their biggest obstacle isn't the logistics or the technical problems of making the ethanol but rather a lack of capital.
But the logistical challenges are 'legitimate issues that need to be solved and the USDA ought to be about the business of getting them solved,' said Brent Erickson of the Biotechnology Industry Organization.
The USDA advisory committee's work was mandated by the 2008 farm bill. In addition to Horan, the panel's membership includes academics, scientists and consultants to business and government.
The report was provided to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and congressional committees, and the panel's chairwoman, Carol Keiser-Long, recently discussed it with representatives of the USDA agencies that handle agricultural research. 'They've all read it,' she said.
Asked for comment on the report, the USDA issued a statement saying research is needed 'to increase efficiency and productivity of all crops, crop residues, biomass and other substances.'
Vilsack has designated five research centers to study regional biomass issues, the department noted.
Mon November 15 2010 04:13:04 AM by Jacintha 25 cellulosic ethanol  |  research funding for algae biofuels

Algae biofuel costing - Questionable ?!?

Energy Biosciences Institute  in partnership with BP, the University of California, Berkeley; the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and the University of Illinois have arrived at an estimate for algae biofuel production.

It is
The estimated capital costs for a 250-acre biofuel production system emphasising oil production were about $21 million, with annual operating costs at around $1.5 million, to produce about 12,300 barrels of oil, giving a break-even price per barrel of oil of $330 (based on an 8 percent capital charge).
 Increasing the scale of the system to 1,000 acres reduced the break-even price to about $240 per barrel.

I thought some of the figures our FOA ( ie Friends of Algae) and oilgae club members were quoting  making algae biofuels were way too less as compared to  $ 240 per barrel. 

* Do we have a proven model of producing algae biofuel using a PBR ? 
* How much does it cost ? 
The numbers quoted by our members made me believe that Open ponds are out and PBR is the way to go? 
* Are the numbers quoted by Energy  Biosciences Institute questionable or the numbers quoted by our members questionable ?
Wed November 03 2010 10:51:21 PM by Jacintha 89 EBI  |  algae biofuel costing  |  algae biofuels costing  |  algae biofuels  | 

Algae research facility at Easter Kentucky univ

 A new research facility at Eastern Kentucky University could help the state become a national leader in alternative fuel technology, according to Sixth District Congressman Ben Chandler.
Chandler was the keynote speaker Thursday at an official opening ceremony for the university's Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT) facility, which is located across from Alumni Coliseum, next to EKU's Department of Agriculture.
The new facility features two large laboratories for biomass analysis and algae research, as well as a smaller lab for algae incubation and microbiology research. It also includes administrative offices and office space for researchers.
CRAFT incorporates the research of 10 research faculty, three full-time research assistants, four graduate assistants and as many as 12 undergraduate students from fields such as agriculture, biology, chemistry and economics.
One of CRAF's main focuses is the cellulosic-derived biofuel initiative, which converts biomass, such as switchgrass, into usable transportation fuels.
Sugars from the biomass can be fed to specialized algae that produce large quantities of oil for conversion to biodiesel and jet fuel.

All of us wake up in a country that depends on cheap oil from foreign countries that are located in regions of the world that can only be described as unstable, Chandler said. 
The $4-a-gallon gas prices we saw in 2008 could become the norm. Research being done here at Eastern could become critical to our nation?s security.
EKU and CRAFT are at the forefront of groundbreaking research that will allow Kentucky to prosper as a leader, he said.
We can create thousands of new jobs right here in Kentucky and those will be jobs that cannot be exported, Chandler said.
The CRAFT facility is a symbol of EKU?s devotion to the development of alternative energy, said Harry Moberly, EKU executive vice president for administration.
This effort we're making to make ourselves energy independent is of paramount importance to our country, Moberly said.   
EKU wants to be part of that opportunity. We recognize that is what the future is going to be about if we're going to be successful in creating jobs.
Kentucky's rich agriculture gives the state an advantage when it comes to developing alternative energy, said Rep. Rocky Adkins, 99th District.
We are an agriculture state and a coal state, he said. I think it is unbelievable what this field of energy can do for us.
Kentucky can use these advantages to attract energy companies while at the same time reduce dependency on foreign oil.
It is not acceptable for our U.S. military to be the single biggest user of foreign oil in the world, he said. We can do better, and today is proof of that. We can make sure that from this, we can grow a strong economy.
Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@
richmondregister.com or 624-6608.
Mon November 01 2010 02:31:46 PM by Jacintha 2 Easter Kentucky university  |  algae biofuel  |  dark fermentation

Algae Biofuel Which Costs $424/Gallon !?

I remember having read this news in the club and also remember having read Wolfson's reply. ie Wolfson of Solazyme saying that it is R and D cost that is part of the $ 424 deal.That set the world record for fuel and is unlikely to be broken till the fossil fuels run out. 

We read  that sometime ago.But look at the number of comments for this article in Dailytech !! Surprising ! Vocieferous ! http://www.dailytech.com/Navys New Experimental Ship Runs on Algae Biofuel Which Costs 424Gallon/article20018.htm
Fri October 29 2010 11:17:53 PM by Jacintha 43 US Navy  |  cost of biofuel  |  Mabus  |  oil from algae  |  algae biofuel

MBD OriginOil Enter Partnership

Australia?s MBD Energy  becomes OriginOil?s  first geographical partner and the partnership
 looks  forward to many years of mutual growth in the
fast-moving field of CO2 capture using algae.

 They share 
a joint quest to commercialise industrial-scale algae

Energy is regarded as an international leader in the use of captured flue-gases
as feedstock to produce algal biomass.

OriginOil  has the breakthrough technology for
converting algae biomass into fuel;

OriginOil and MBD plan to work  very
closely on large-scale algae systems to absorb the CO2 from coal-fired power
plants and other major greenhouse-gas emitters

Mon October 11 2010 08:21:24 AM by Jacintha

Algae oil a Pipe dream?

 Two researchers from Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands outlined the resources needed to make algal biodiesel economically feasible in European markets within a decade.

According to the authors' calculations on fuel consumption in Europe, almost 2.3 billion gallons of biodiesel will need to be replaced. To supply the European market, algae yields would need to be over 4,400 gallons of fuel per acre each year. 

The target of 4,400 gallons per acre is right in the range of what some algae players claim to be producing today. Companies like Algenol, Solix, Solazyme and OriginOil say they are making ? or on the road to making ? between 2,000 and 5,000 gallons of fuel per acre.

 But even with all the other revenue streams that come from selling algae cake, algae biofuels still cost between $6 and $35 per gallon.

The news has been mixed about algae.

A lot of money is being poured into algae  rearch;the fossil fuel giantsare also exploring this route.

  We have to wait and see.

Sat October 09 2010 08:21:47 AM by Jacintha Algae oil

Chemical Triggers High Yield of Algal Biofuel

A  chemical trigger discovered at Montana State
University helps  algal biofuel
production  double in yield and in far
less time.

The chemical
trigger is a well-timed dose of bicarbonate, a low-cost, easy-to-use
chemical.  When given to algae during a
specific point in its growth cycle, the bicarbonate doubles the rate of
production of triacylglycerol, the key precursor to biodiesel. Some cultures
have shown nearly three times faster rates of triacylglycerol accumulation,
which would result in significant cost savings for biofuel manufacturers. This
effect has been shown in both diatoms and in green alga.

The bicarbonate also shortens the time it takes to
reach high lipid yields.

The technology is available
for licensing to interested companies and entrepreneurs.

Thu October 07 2010 11:04:02 AM by Jacintha Algae biofuel  |  algae growth

Algae photobioreactor for mass production of biodiesel

It is not necessary that if anything to do about Algae is happening it must be in San Diego. It can be Las Banos, Laguna. If you dont know where it is, it is in Philipines.Actually you never know, when and where a great solution to the algae culivation is going to be found.Here is news from Philipines. Take it with a pinch of  salt as I have briefed already.
This is not a breakthru news. But news from philipines that there are lots of action in algae.

Scientists at the College of Engineering and Agro-Industrial Technology (CEAT) and Institute of Biological Science of the College of Arts and Sciences (ULPB have developed an unassuming, and somewhat crude looking equipment that could mass produce biodiesel fuel from algae, commonly known as pond scum.

The contraption, called photobioreactor, houses and cultivates algae, providing them a suitable environment for growth and supplying light, nutrients, air and heat to the culture, UPLB scientists said.

Today, solution to the problems of cultivating algae  or at least some part it, could very well be found in the CEAT complex in the form of an unassuming, if somewhat crude looking equipment.
The photobioreactor, which comes in two prototype variants, was developed by CEAT with Prof. Rex B. Demafelis, convenor of the UPLB Alternative Energy RDE, at the helm.
The development of the photobioreactors was funded by the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development or PCAMRD under the program leadership of Dr. Milagrosa M. Goss, a UPLB Professor Emeritus.

Phototrophs are organisms that carry out the process of photosynthesis to acquire energy like plants, planktons, certain bacteria, and algae.
The design and fabrication of the photobioreactor prototypes fell on the able hands of Prof. Demafelis. With the help of CEAT undergraduate students, he came up with two prototypes: an internally illuminated vertical column photobioreactor and an externally illuminated vertical column draft-tube airlift photobioreactor. The externally illuminated photobioreactor uses natural light (direct sunlight or any ambient light) while the internally illuminated prototype uses artificial light.

Inside the closed vessel, algal cells grow in aqueous suspension where they have more efficient access to water, carbon dioxide, and dissolved nutrients. Through the photobioreactors, microalgae are capable of producing large amounts of biomass and usable oil which can then be turned into biodiesel.

Prof. Demafelis said that after establishing the viability of C.vulgaris (algae specie) as a fuel feedstock, they validated its efficacy through the engineering design of the photobioreactors.

We are confident that once we have the oil we can convert it to biodiesel. Where do we get the oil? Everything points to third generation biofuel feedstock,he said.

Certain requirements of photobioreactors such as cooling, mixing, and control of oxygen accumulation make these systems more expensive to build and operate than ponds.
But the photobioreactors developed by CEAT are noteworthy for their simplicity and use of cheap, if not somewhat crude materials, that work effectively just the same.

Moreover, they can be easily constructed and replicated, Demafelis said.

The best part is that baseline results of the prototypes have been very encouraging so far. Compared to conventional methods like batch system, the photobioreactor prototypes showed good benchmark results in the laboratory setting.
 For one thing, algae harvest is far bigger. And because it is a continuous system, it is cost-efficient in terms of productivity volume and mass of harvested algae, he stressed, UPLB scientists said.

Conversely, like other photobioreactors of its kind, CEAT?s photobioreactors are prone to innate disadvantages of such systems like contamination.
But Prof.Demafelis says the practical solution is to simply seed the microalgae continuously so it will overcome the contaminants.

The basic technology is commendable enough as it is but Demafelis insists that there's more to be done to further enhance the design and efficiency of the photobioreactors.

He said they are looking forward to eliminating the artificial light because it is energy intensive.

Eventually, they also want to make use of raw materials that have negative cost index such as water effluents, waste water, and agri-run off which contain the necessary nutrients for the algae to thrive.(PNA)
Sun October 03 2010 11:35:21 PM by Jacintha 3 Prof Demafelis  |  CEAT  |  photobiorector

Micro-algae photo-bioreactor absorbs 90% carbon dioxide

In this part of the world algae to oil research is not very new. Reporting is new. The journalists are not yet experienced. So, they write whatever they understand and am sure they will all improve pretty fast.Bear that in mind while reading it.

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Micro-algae (phytoplankton) photo-bio-reactor designed by Technology Application and Assessment Agency (BPPT) can absorb 90 percent of carbon dioxide (CO2) from factory chimneys, researcher Nugroho Raharjo said in an exhibition of technology held by the agency here.

"The research showed, for instance, that of 100 ppm (part per million) of carbon producing, 90 ppm are received by micro-algae," the BPPT researcher said.
The photo-bioreactor, he said, is used to react to organism by using solar power. The organism applied in the study is Chlorella sp which employs CO2 to release oxygen (O2) in its photosynthesis.

BPPT has examined two kinds of photo-bio-reactors for two years, namely single tubular airlift photo-bio-reactor (STAP) in 2008, and multi-tubular airlift photo-bio-reactor (MTAP) in 2009 and 2010.
MTAP is able to absorb 1 gram of CO2 per liter of micro-algae culture medium per day, so that 105 liters of one unit of MTAP with seven cells (tubules) can absorb 105 gram of CO2 per day.

The micro-algae culture advantages in photo-bio-reactor process are remained sterile, production controlled, flexible for industry and land-saving.

"Industrial emission is injected to the photo-bioreactor which is placed in a factory`s emission disposal. It will take the carbon in, so that the CO2 in the atmosphere will be reduced," he added.

He also said that the emissions from chimneys will be aspirated by the compressor, then put in a container and distributed to photo-bio-reactor acrylic tubes for processing. The pipes can be expanded for big factories producing more emissions.

Micro-algae culture in photo-bioreactor, besides reducing emissions, also produced oxygen and micro-algae bio-mass.

Nugroho said the usage of micro-algae to clean CO2 is cheaper than conventional use of carbon cleaning, since it will need Rp50 million to create a photo-bioreactor prototype.

This photo-bioreactor has been used for the emission disposal of Indolacto dairy in Ciracas. ABC battery factory will also apply the photo-bioreactor, according to him.
Nugroho said BPPT will conduct other micro-algae research work to absorb methane produced by rubbish , which is 21 times more dangerous than CO2.
Sat October 02 2010 10:58:56 PM by Jacintha 1 PBR  |  microalgae  |  BPPT  |  Nugroho