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Monterio's Blog

Florida Algae-preneurs - Making Fuel from Algae

Agrisys an algae fuel, has raised more than $25 million from investors and plans to
break ground this quarter on ponds and a small refinery where
VandenBrekel says Agrisys will be able to grow algae, process it into an
oil, and refine the oil into jet fuel, diesel or gasoline.

Scaled up, VandenBrekel envisions a host of 1,000-to-20,000-acre farms
across the Southeast where algal fuel is grown, processed and used
locally, from community gas stations to diesel fleets such as school
buses. Success, he says, would create no less than a "rebirth of
American agriculture."

Mon December 27 2010 05:35:53 PM by Monterio 32

Is Fresh-Water Cultivation of Algae Feasible..

I was reading the algae
news and see a university trying to research on Botyrococcus braunii. But what
is the whole point of researching on a fresh-water strain when we know this
ain't gonna be feasible economically..


In addition I also read Narsi 's mailing list today from Oilgae  and he exclaims that that it requires about 1 million liters of water
to produce on 1 dry ton of algal biomass.  So how is fresh-water going to work? Wondering!!!!

Wed December 15 2010 12:27:05 PM by Monterio 12 algae  |  fresh-water

Algae-based CO2 sequesteration- Updates from Origin Oil and MBD Energy

Origin Oil, together with power
utility and coal miner MBD Energy (Australian-based company)  have completed a pilot project to grow
algae from CO2-rich flue gas from a coal-fired power plant and then
convert the resulting biomass to oil and commercially valuable

 The project took place under a licensing agreement under
which both companies have shared  intellectual property.

Origin Oil has
developed a one-step separation process, allowing quicker and more
cost-effective oil and biomass extraction.

 As a result of the success of
the pilot project, MBD Energy is seeking to add algae production to
three of its power plants in Australia.

According to the company, each
of these projects has the potential to grow to 80 hectares in size,
producing 11M litres of oil for plastics and transport fuels, and could
capture up to 50% of each power plantís flue-gas emissions.

Tue December 14 2010 06:31:23 AM by Monterio

Aurora Algae widens to Perth Australia

Aurora Algae has expanded its operations to
Perth in Australia. The company is a developer of an algae-based platform for
sustainable products while its premium range of algae-based products produces
high-performance levels.

The company has opened its new Regional Headquarters
for overseeing the construction as well as the operation of its first facility
on a commercial-scale in Northwest Australia.?

The inauguration of the company?s Perth office
along with the ramping up of its Australian commercial operations follows
closely on the heels of the company?s first photosynthetic platform for
producing sustainable, premium products.

Recently, Aurora Algae announced the
expansion of its product portfolio including high concentration fatty acids,
renewable fuels, fish feed and high density proteins.?


Matthew Caspari, Co-Founder and the Australian
Managing Director of Aurora Algae, has mentioned that searching for an ideal
location depended upon key factors that were critical in delivering maximum
value through the company?s high-tech process in farming. Caspari also stated
that a combination of the right resource blend and a perfect climate that
includes skilled labor, abundant seawater and industrial CO2 made Northwestern
Australia as the ideal spot for establishing a high-yielding commercial

Aurora Algae specializes in optimizing algae usage as the maximum
productive and widely recognized biomass source.

Thu October 28 2010 02:47:47 AM by Monterio 1 aurora algae  |  Mathew caspari  |  Australia Aurora algae

Algae biofuel development denounced

Pressure group Friends of the Earth has declared war on the development of new strains of algae and bacteria to produce biofuels.

The group released a report last week warning of the dangers that genetically-modified microbes could pose if released into nature.

With warnings of  devastating results  if organisms escape into the oceans, including formation of  large dead zones, Friends of the Earth demanded a moratorium on work to produce synthetic algae strains.

The group suggested that based on the previous spread of genetically-modified crops in the environment, the public health could be at risk.

Friends of the Earth also cast doubt on the efficiency of producing biofuels from algae.

Friends of the Earth Biotechnology Policy Campaigner Eric Hoffman said: ?Synthetic microbes have no natural predators, and if they escape they may disrupt ecosystems and harm public health.S Our report concludes that the federal government should put a complete moratorium on the release and commercial use of synthetic organisms.

All possible implications of this synthetic biology research, including environmental, economic, social, and public health risks, must be reviewed by regulators.

"In addition, we have found that despite the industry's claims, synthetic biofuels will not be a solution to the climate crisis. Any efficiency gains in the production process are likely to be offset by the fact that synthetic biology would lead to more materials being turned into biofuels. This would increase   the environmental damage?including deforestation and emissions of heat-trapping gases?and social ills caused by biofuel crop cultivation," Mr Hoffman added.

Friends of the Earth's report pours scorn on those who see biotechnology as a cure-all for climate change, and also for the hundreds of millions being spent by oil companies on dangerous and unproven algae research that it suggested diverts funds from clean technologies like wind, solar and efficiency projects.

The report highlights open-air algae farms as a particular threat, and doesn?t reserve its criticisms for algae ? synthetic enzymes, bacteria and yeasts could also be dangerous, it suggests.

"Synthetic biology for biofuels production is a false solution to our climate crisis. The risks are too great and their promises are too illusory to be a worthy investment, "the report concludes.
Tue October 12 2010 02:21:54 PM by Monterio Friends of earth  |  genetically modified algae  |  genetically modified crop

Algae industry gains confidence

Industry Gains Confidence in AlgaeAbout 40 percent of participants in a Greentech Media biofuels survey said they see algae-based biodiesel as more promising than electric vehicles, synthetic gasoline and diesel, syngas fuels or butanol. 

Industry insiders see algae-based biodiesel as the most promising green fuel technology, according to a Greentech Media survey on advanced biofuels.
About 40 percent of the 249 participants said that biodiesel was the technology that showed "the greatest potential to transform the fuel industry."
The sentiment matches that of venture capitalists, who have put more money behind algae-based biofuel companies this year than ever before, according to the Cleantech Group 
The group last month reported $129.5 million in algal investments so far this year, even before the news that algal biofuel maker Sapphire Energy had raised an additional $50 million from Bill Gates' Cascades Investments 
And in a report released Wednesday, Greentech Media senior analyst Eric Wesoff said that algae technology, along with cellulosic-ethanol technologies, helped drive venture capitalists to fund biofuels to the tune of $150 million this quarter alone 
But not everyone who took the survey agreed that slime would take over the fuel industry.
Electric vehicles took second place, winning votes of confidence from 18.4 percent of respondents. And 17.7 percent of participants picked the third-place winner, synthetic gasoline and diesel made using biological processes.
Next, at 14 percent, came liquids made from synthesis gas, or "syngas," which contains hydrogen and carbon monoxide and can be made by gasifying waste, coal or other fuel.
Meanwhile, butanol, an alcohol that advocates say could get better gas mileage than ethanol and be transported in oil pipelines, garnered only 6.4 percent of the votes. BP and DuPont in 2006 announced a partnership to develop biobutanol, and cellulosic-ethanol startup Coskata said in January it had developed an organism that makes butanol .
You can read the original article at http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/industry-gains-confidence-in-algae-1510/
Sat October 02 2010 11:05:36 AM by Monterio 2 algae fuel  |  algae biodiesel  |  survey  |  greentechmedia

Algae biomass summit plenary session !!

Algae biomass summit consisting of panelists from Boeing, Phycal, UOP, BIO and NREL opined that oil from algae remained the most promising platform for replacing fossil fuel and for chemicals and other co products.The 2009 summit experienced an irrational exuberance and as agianst it, this year's was a mood of optimism. The reasons were1. increasing sophistication of the consortia2. collaborative partnerships and3. Entry of more large scale companies

You can read about the views of stalwarts like 
Jim Long, board director of Aurora Algae and a VC with Gabriel Venture Partners, Chris Cassidy, USDA, Gary Feldman of Lockheed Martin, Chris Eck of Raytheon, Mark Warner of Harris Group, Professor Shulin Chen of Washington State, Loy Wilkinson of Coastal Biomarine, Professor Dave Brune at the University of Missouri and Ross Youngs  of Algaeventure Systems in the url given below.http://biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2010/10/01/this-generation-is-a-regeneration-generation-voices-from-the-algal-biomass-summit/
Sat October 02 2010 10:23:40 AM by Monterio algae biomass summit

Alternative fuel needed for security : Navy

The U.S. military represents a huge market for companies that can develop low-cost renewable fuels, said a U.S. Navy official.
By 2020, the Navy aims to meet half of its energy needs for ships and planes with renewable energy sources, requiring some 8 million barrels of biofuel.
"That represents a pretty formidable market," Rear Adm. Philip Hart Cullom, director of the Navy's Energy and Environmental Readiness Division told the Algae Biomass Summit in Phoenix, The Arizona Republic newspaper reports.
About 600 industry leaders from 27 countries participated in the annual conference this week, which focused on the potential for algae to meet environmental, economic and energy challenges.
Cullom said the sector, as it works to develop alternative fuels, can help reduce the military's reliance on foreign oil.
Cullom recounted how in 2008, as oil prices shot up, the Navy saw its annual fuel costs soar to $5.1 billion from $1.2 billion the previous year.
"That meant about $4 billion less of something else that you were not able to buy," he said.
Retired Vice Adm. Dennis McGinn, a leading expert on the link between energy, climate change and international security, told the group of their significant role in national security.
"I am saying that we need you for our national security. The United States armed forces need this industry to succeed ... we need to recognize that the potential that algal biofuels have for the future is fantastic," said McGinn, a news release states.
Cullom acknowledged that he expects biofuels to remain costlier than traditional fossil fuels for some time.
Last September, the Defense Energy Support Center, which oversees procurement of biofuel for the Navy, paid $2.7 million for 40,000 gallons of camelina-based fuel. That came to about $67.50 per gallon, compared to the typical cost of about $2.94 per gallon for its standard fuel, JP-5.
In April, on Earth Day, the Navy conducted its first test flight of a F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jet powered by alternative fuel, in this case half-camelina oil. Navy officials said the exercise, deemed a success, was intended to demonstrate the Navy's commitment to reducing its dependence on foreign oil as well as safeguarding the environment.
The Navy said it would continue to test the biofuel-powered Super Hornet over about 14 more flights, then move on to testing alternative fuels in the marine gas turbines that power many surface ships as well as engines of U.S. Marine Corps ground vehicles.
Sat October 02 2010 10:01:15 AM by Monterio algae to oil  |  biodiesel  |  Navy  |  us navy

Algae biofuels for automotives : Ford to study

Thanks to the new bill passed bringing the incentives to algae biofuels on par with other biofuels is going to trigger more interest in Algae.
In my opinion, algae is any day a better bet than most biofuels. 
Here is an article about how FORD is seriously interested in algae as a biofuel.

Ford scientists are working to understand the suitability of renewable sources such as algae as potential automotive biofuels. This effort is an integral part of Ford's desire to better understand the use of biomass to produce future biofuels as part of an overall strategy to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil and address climate change. 


"Ford has a long history of developing vehicles that run on renewable fuels; and the increased use of biofuels is an important element of our sustainability strategy now and moving forward," said Tim Wallington, technical leader with the Ford Systems Analytics and Environmental Sciences Department.

 "We look ahead from a technological, economic, environmental, and social standpoint at potential next-generation renewable fuels that could power our vehicles."
Algae for oil Industry forecasters and trend magazines such as The Futurist have highlighted "algae for oil" as one of the hottest technologies and thought-provoking ideas for 2010. 
Algae biofuel research received an added boost this spring when the House of Representatives introduced a bill (HR 5142) known as the GREEN JOBS Act of 2010  to encourage investment tax credits for algae-based biorefineries. 
This year, Ford researchers visited Wayne State University's National Biofuels Energy Laboratory, which is actively analyzing suitable algae strains that could be used as a feedstock for biodiesel.
 The Ford researchers, part of the company's Systems Analytics and Environmental Sciences Department, also have conducted in-house research on the opportunities and challenges of producing biodiesel from algae oil.
Sat October 02 2010 03:25:37 AM by Monterio 15 algae automotive biofuel  |  biofuel policy  |  ford