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20,000,000 gallons of algae oil / biodiesel per acre per annum 42

That is not a typo !

Nor am I kidding. 


BARD, short for  Biofuel Advance Research & Development.

Compare 20,000,000 gallons  with the conventional claims that at best of my knowledge never went beyond 10,000 gallons per acre. Normally around 4/5000 gallons per acre.

This is what I read just now and got fully excited. Isnt this the greatest news to all the algae to oil enthusiasts, researchers, profesionals ?

"BARD has entered into an agreement with The Green Institute Inc. to construct and operate a commercial scale algae system pilot facility located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The planned facility will produce algae biomass to be used to produce biodiesel, and other commercial products.

The pilot facility is estimated to produce 20,000,000 gallons of algae oil / biodiesel per acre per annum [emphasis added]. Initially, the pilot facility will produce 43,070 gallons of algae oil / biodiesel per annum using 6 modules of photo-bioreactors covering 84 square feet."


read more at http://sourcesenergy.net/bard-refines-ambitious-algae-farming-plans

Wed February 02 2011 06:39:53 AM by MiaFranceska BARD  |  gallons of algae oil per acre  |  algae biodiesel  |  BARD pbr 5434 views

Comments - 5

  • Richard wrote:
    Wed February 02 2011 06:51:16 AM

    Hi Mia Franceska
    Thanks for posting it.
    I did some more search and got some responses on this huge claim.
    As usual Dr NO alias Dr John Benamenn's comment is sarcastic,  pessimistic and logical.
    read more
    "
    According to an algae guru from NASA, also queried via email:

    Hmm… According to John Benemann [an algae expert], with 'normal' systems we can expect at the very most 5,000 gal/acre/yr from open ponds. This either means that BARD is doing something very revolutionary or they are not telling us that their yield of 9 million gal/acre will take them 1,886 years to produce! We have a real problem with light unless of course we use artificial light and then we have an energy problem or a photonic materials cost problem… These guys may have discovered a miracle organism, but I suspect they are selling snake oil rather than making algae oil.

    Riggs Eckelberry, CEO of Origin Oil (OOIL.OB) commented: "Intensive industrial algae production may yield between 50-100,000 gals per hectare per year. These are not validated numbers, but they are more realistic than the numbers stated [by BARD]."

    According to Bob Walsh, the CEO of Aurora Biofuels: "While it is hard to comment on another company's technology when you are not under the hood, I can say we believe the absolute theoretical maximum is 10,000 gal/acre/year. The white paper GreenFuel Technologies: A Case Study for Industrial Photosynthetic Energy Capture by Dr. Krassen Dimitrov, PhD, March 2007 goes through the calculations."

    You can read more reactions at
    http://sourcesenergy.net/bard-refines-ambitious-algae-farming-plans

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  • Shankar wrote:
    Wed February 02 2011 10:19:13 PM

    This is pretty interesting.BARD has been funded 40 $ m in the recent past. 
    Wonder who the VCs are. 
    If someone knows, can they post it here.

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  • Gopinelli wrote:
    Thu February 03 2011 05:33:37 PM

    At 20 million gallons, any optimist will raise his eyebrows. And so did I. Critics are validated on the ground reality of 5000 gallons. But thaat doesn't warrent outrule any new claim. To accept or reject, you (or they) need to do it once.
    I think we are still in ponds. Pond systems are famous for their limits.

    I dont intend to swallow BARD's 20 million. But I disagree with Henrik and the Guru at NASA (original article) on several areas. I don't agree with Khosla either in high yield as cost prohibitive.

    It looks like scientists are with a 5000 gal. mind-set. I wish scientists have open minds as our open ponds.

    Usually, when we talk about yield improvement, we are at percentage. We never think multiples. As NASA guru puts it, improving yield by several folds is not snake oil. In fact, there are many areas of algae cultivation that can be practically modified to improve yield by multiples.

    Let me adventure to list some of them here:
    1. Like other plants, algae cells can not use more than 10% of average day light. The remaining 90% percent go unused. If your system is designed to consume 50% light, your yield is five fold. Opposed to Henrik, a seperate farm to harvest light or fibre optic cables are not required.
    2. Rate of photosynthesis is not alike throughout natural light period. Many algae species grow exponentially during early light hours and growth declines thereafter. Expose the colony to light for a duration corresponding to the time required for young daughter cells to grow and mature, you may be able to expose another young colony in the same equipment on the same day. There are many short cell cycle algae species that allow multiple cell cycles within a day and multiply your yield.
    3. The most unfortunate thing with algae systems is that they lack a farmer's logic. Farmers raise seedlings in nursaries in order to minimize space utilizatio, improve crop cycle and provide better care. You have a 1000 gal equipment and a 20 day culture period. The colony require the entire media volume only on the 20th day. If the species has a one day cell cycle and the mass doubles during each cell cycle, you need only 500 gal media on the 19th day. On day one, you may be able to grow the inoculum in 50 ml media. Be a farmer and you will multiply yield by several folds.
    4. Along with light, temperature of media plays a crucial role in growth rate. Mimic media temperature in accordance with insident light, you have a better yield.
    5. In a steady state colony, cells occur in various growth phases. Mature cells in light cannot grow while young cells in the dark cannot divide. Yield can be substantially improved by synchronizing metabolic activities of the colony.

    All these put together into one system will multiply the most ambitious estimate by several folds.

    To introduce me, I am an independent researcher (better say 'grassroot') with a patent pending technology that utilizes an off-lab bioreactor design. I too have a huge claim, but not as huge as BARD. Theoretically my system, can produce 110 metric ton dry biomass per hectare per day . Considering the possible limitations of my improvements, I have a conservative yield estimate of 43 mt dry mass per hectare per day. At minimum 20% oil yield, this works out to 320,000 gal oil per acre per annum. Achieving even 50% of this estimate makes the system commecially viable.
    But, HOW? - this is a question I need to be selective to answer.

    Coming back to the original article, 1970 is not the opening year of algae research. There have been many breakthrough findings much earlier to that. My own system is based on two research papers by Consantine and Krauss during the latter half of 50's.
    Back to BARD, they don't have a single word about their technlogy on their web pages. Their claim look too good to be true. When Surajith says they are scaling up a lab prototype, BARD goes without 'R'.

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  • Tomcatino wrote:
    Tue February 08 2011 01:34:08 AM

    "The pilot facility is estimated to produce 20,000,000 gallons of algae oil / biodiesel per acre per annum [emphasis added]. Initially, the pilot facility will produce 43,070 gallons of algae oil / biodiesel per annum using 6 modules of photo-bioreactors covering 84 square feet."

    They can boost yield by going deep & genetic engineered algae strains.

    http://www.bardllc.com/process.htm

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  • Shankar wrote:
    Tue February 15 2011 02:35:13 AM

    @ Gopinelli
    Thanks for your comments. It sounds pretty interesting. "  I too have a huge claim, but not as huge as BARD. Theoretically my system, can produce 110 metric ton dry biomass per hectare per day . Considering the possible limitations of my improvements, I have a conservative yield estimate of 43 mt dry mass per hectare per day. At minimum 20% oil yield, this works out to 320,000 gal oil per acre per annum. Achieving even 50% of this estimate makes the system commecially viable.But, HOW? - this is a question I need to be selective to answer."Sounds even more interesting.

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