Oilgae Club - an Online Community for Algae Fuel Enthusiasts Worldwide.

Aathmika's Blog

ABO's 7th Annual Biomass Summit - 2013

The 7th annual Algae Biomass Summit will take place September 30 - October 3, 2013 at the Hilton Orlando in Orlando, Florida. This dynamic event unites industry professionals from all sectors of the world’s algae utilization industries including, but not limited to, financing, algal ecology, genetic systems, carbon partitioning, engineering & analysis, biofuels, animal feeds, fertilizers, bioplastics, supplements and foods. 

Organized by the Algae Biomass Organization and coproduced by BBI International, this event brings current and future producers of biobased products and energy together with algae crop growers, municipal leaders, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, project developers, investors and policy makers. It’s a true one-stop shop – the world’s premier educational and networking junction for all algae industries.


 Visit - http://algaebiomasssummit.org/ema/DisplayPage.aspx?pageId=About

Wed June 19 2013 06:49:01 AM by Aathmika algae summit  |  ABO

Algae gene modification hots up in India too !


Stephen Mayfield, director, San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology, University of California, said: “Countries with a well-trained technological force like India will have an enormous advantage, but only if investments along these lines are made now.”


Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga, Mumbai, India is a well known reserch center in Mumbai, India. ICT in short. 

ICT’s enters into a  project in collaboration with International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi.

The purpose of the project is to  genetically modify the best-suited algal strains to increase productivity. I guess both doubling time and lipid content, based on the strain.  The first phase, spanning two years will see an investment of Rs 5 crore from the Central government’s Department of Biotechnology. 
Once the best strains of algae are indentified, they will undergo genetic modification to change their photosynthetic machinery for efficient carbon dioxide assimilation and growth, followed by cost effective technologiesc for harvesting and conversion to suitable biofuels.

Sun February 06 2011 09:57:11 PM by Aathmika 2 ICGEB  |  ICT  |  strain modification  |  gene modification  |  india

High cholesterol Algae !!

The 24-hour circadian clock found in human cells is the same as that found in algae!

A study conducted by Researchers from Britain's Cambridge and Edinburgh universities claims this. 

What's more !  These cells dates back millions of years to early life on earth. 

Circadian rhythms, ie the 24 hour rhythms have always been assumed to be linked to DNA and gene activity.

When the rhythm is affected it is well known that it  leads to certain diseases in humans.

So, when we feed the algae with light and CO2 in the nights too, we are changing the circadian rhythm and therefore  one will be interested in finding out if it enhances the lipid content !

May be we will have a high cholesterol algae !!

Restoring  rhythms to people whose body clocks have been messed up is what the scientists are working at. 

But why not algae that is not allowed to sleep. Algae that is not used  to do any photosynthesis, is given light and CO2 as I said earlier !!? Interesting isnt it !!

The article further reads thus

"

A further study found a similar 24-hour cycle in marine algae -- suggesting that internal body clocks have always been important, even for ancient forms of life.

The researchers found those rhythms by sampling the peroxiredoxins in algae at regular intervals over several days. When the algae were kept in darkness, their DNA was no longer active, but the algae kept their circadian clocks ticking even without active genes.

Scientists had previously thought the circadian clock was driven by gene activity, but both the algae and the red blood cells kept time without it. "

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSLDE70P0F720110126


Thu January 27 2011 02:22:23 AM by Aathmika 4 high cholesterol algae

Parry's nutraceutical's Spirulina - one of its kind in the world

Parry Nutraceuticals is one of the rare organic manufacturers of spirulina available  in the world after organic rule changes.
To most manufacturers, it has become unviable to make organic spirulina.
Parrys and Valensa have introduced new coated spirulina which masks the smell and has a nice blue color.
Wed November 17 2010 03:16:49 AM by Aathmika 5 Parrys nutraceuticals  |  Valensa  |  spirulina  |  coated spirulina

Blue green algae


Occurence



Blue green algae is also known as Cynobacteria.

Cyanobacteria have the distinction of being the oldest known fossils, more than 3.5 billion years old, in fact! It may surprise you then to know that the cyanobacteria are still around; they are one of the largest and most important groups of bacteria on earth.

Since they are photosynthetic and aquatic, cyanobacteria are often called "blue-green algae" !!

Blue Green Algae or Cyanobacteria can be found in almost every conceivable environment, from oceans to fresh water, in rivers, lakes, damp soil, tree trunks, hot springs and snow. In other words they are able to survive in hostile conditions.

Characteristics

Blue Green algae are bacteria. They can vary considerably in shape, colour and size.

They are very small organisms and can be seen with the aid of a microscope as single cells, accumulations of cells (colonies) or filaments of cells (trichomes).



Certain types of blue-green algae have tiny gas vesicles in their cells, allowing them to float to the surface or sink to the bottom in response to changing light and nutrient availability.



This buoyancy-regulating mechanism gives the blue-green algae a competitive advantage in obtaining light and nutrients.

Wow! Smart thinking!

Blue Green Algae get their name from the bluish pigment phycocyanin which they use to capture light for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis in cyanobacteria generally uses water as an electron donor and produces oxygen as a by-product, though some may also use hydrogen sulfide as occurs among other photosynthetic bacteria.



Carbon dioxide is reduced to form carbohydrates via the Calvin cycle. In most forms the photosynthetic machinery is embedded into folds of the cell membrane, called thylakoids. They are photoautotrophs.

The large amounts of oxygen in the atmosphere are considered to have been first created by the activities of ancient cyanobacteria.Life on earth has been possible thanks to the Blue Green algae.

Cyanobacteria show gliding motility - movement of cells over surfaces without the aid of flagella. The molecular mechanism by which most bacteria propel themselves through liquid media by means of rotating flagella is relatively well understood.



Gliding motility is a trait common to many bacteria, yet the mechanism of gliding motility is unknown. The gliding motility apparatus which propels the cells involves a complex of proteins, yet the actual nature of the "motor" and how the components interact is not understood.

Favorable Conditions

Species of blue-green algae may dominate and increase excessively in water when the:

* nutrient levels, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen are sufficient to support the population growth

*water is still and turbulence is low (lack of mixing)

* weather patterns are stable for a long time

* weather is warm (although blooms can occur in cooler weather too).



Algal Blooms



Water affected by blue-green algal blooms often is so strongly colored that it can develop a paint-like appearance



Bloom' is a common term used to describe an increase in the number of algal cells to a point where they can discolour the water, form scums, produce unpleasant tastes and odours, affect shellfish and fish populations or otherwise create a nuisance and seriously reduce the water quality.

Blue-green algal blooms often persist for several weeks, sometimes months, depending mainly on the weather or flow conditions. Cooler, windy weather or increased flow may reduce or prevent blooms from occurring.



As the bloom dies, the cells tend to become 'leaky'. If the bloom contains species that produce toxins, these will be released into the surrounding water.



Once released, some toxins may persist for more than three months before sunlight and the natural population of bacteria in the water degrade them.



Health Hazards

Some blue-green algae produce toxins that could pose a health risk to people and animals when they are exposed to them in large enough quantities.



Health effects could occur when surface scums or water containing high levels of blue-green algal toxins are swallowed, through contact with the skin or when airborne droplets containingtoxins are inhaled while swimming, bathing or showering.

Consuming water containing high levels of blue-green algal toxins has been associated with effects on the liver and on the nervous system in laboratory animals, pets, livestock and people.



Livestock and pet deaths have occurred when animals consumed very large amounts of accumulated algal scum from along shorelines.

Direct contact or breathing airborne droplets containing high levels of blue-green algal toxins during swimming or showering can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and throat and inflammation in the respiratory tract.



Benefits



Many Proterozoic oil deposits are attributed to the activity of cyanobacteria. They are also important providers of nitrogen fertilizer in the cultivation of rice and beans.



The cyanobacteria have also been tremendously important in shaping the course of evolution and ecological change throughout earth's history.



The oxygen atmosphere that we depend on was generated by numerous cyanobacteria during the Archaean and Proterozoic Eras. Before that time, the atmosphere had a very different chemistry, unsuitable for life as we know it today.

The other great contribution of the cyanobacteria is the origin of plants. The chloroplast with which plants make food for themselves is actually a cyanobacterium living within the plant's cells.

Sometime in the late Proterozoic, or in the early Cambrian, cyanobacteria began to take up residence within certain eukaryote cells, making food for the eukaryote host in return for a home. This event is known as endosymbiosis, and is also the origin of the eukaryotic mitochondrion.

So Blue Green Algae has been around for a long long time.It is now we are awakening to its contribution to life on earth.

It may sound presumptious to say , Long live Blue Green algae!
It is sure to be around when you and I are long gone.
Mon November 01 2010 09:17:27 PM by Aathmika 3 cyanobacteria  |  Green Algae  |  blue green algae

Dream Team to Deliver Cheap Algae Biodiesel


    Cost of algae oil extraction has been a stumbling block in algae gaining popularity.

  A group of elite scientist of UK appear to have overcome this issue.

An elite scientific team drawn from leading research institutions in the UK, are progressing well in a bid to find a successful formula to create low-cost biofuel in vast quantities.

   The Newcastle researchers are also developing methods for enabling large-scale production in algae ponds. The Carbon Trust is planning to construct a pilot demonstration plant in an equatorial region where algae are most prolific. 

It hopes to develop a system to cultivate and process 70 billion litres of algae biofuel a year, cost effectively and sustainably by 2030.





This will be equivalent to six per cent of road transport diesel and a saving of more than 160 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year.

Working for the UK's Carbon Trust, the project involves among others, researchers at universities at Newcastle upon Tyne, Manchester, Sheffield and Southampton.

Wed October 20 2010 09:05:57 AM by Aathmika 2 Algae biofuel

Algal Biotechnology by Mihir Kumar Das

This book is a theoretical treatise on several aspects of Algal Biotechnology. In each article Prof Mihir Kumar Das has co authored, except the one written by Mark Edwards of ASU.  As you are aware Mark is well known for his 101 on algae and his award winning book.This book by Prof Mihir Kumar is not a treaty on algae biofuel. If you read the index, you will know more.
Has anyone read it ? how is it ? any reviews ?


AUTHOR: Mihir Kumar Das
PUBLISHER: Daya Publishing House
ISBN: 9788170356479
YEAR: 2010
PAGES: 301
SIZE: 16 x 24 x 2 cm.
BINDING: Hard
LANGUAGE: English

ABOUT THE BOOK: Algal biotechnology has come a long way since the early days of agronomy /mariculture for food use and the recovery of agars, carrageenans and alginates. Our increasing knowledge of algal physiology and biochemistry, combined with genetic engineering is opening up new vistas. 


The application of the ability to grow microalgae to very high yields in bioreactors, to a percentage of a theoretical maximum, as opposed to ponds, holds great promise for the future of algal biotechnology. 


At the macroalgal side possibilities on the horizon involve their use as a source of antifoulants, the possible use of sulfated polysaccharides in biomedical applications and the possibility of genetically engineering macroalgae to provide deterrence to microbial pathogens in mariculture. 


In the final analysis the expanded future of applying algal biotechnology for good, new and imaginative use must lie in ensuring that good science is tied to good economics.



The present volume is a compilation of 20 chapters which discuss on the industrial applications in the field of biological nitrogen fixation, nutraceuticals and other bioactive compounds. 


Recent advances in cyanobacteria for bioactive compounds, active against a number of disease causing bacteria, viruses and fungi, their significant potential for colorants, polysaccharides, pharmaceuticals and pharmacological probes and also in the field of environment protection have been reflected in most of the chapters. This book will open a new vista in the field of algal biotechnology.



The aim of bringing out of this book is to bring together the multi-disciplinary researches going around the world in the area of Algal Biotechnology and to disseminate information on the latest information on algae and this has been made possible only by the contribution of articles by the nationally and internationally acclaimed authors. 


The book will be useful to the students, teachers, scientists and researchers from the different branches of microbiology, plant science and biotechnology.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. Mihir Kumar Das is a Reader in Post-Graduate Department of Botany, GangadharMeher College (Autonomous), Sambalpur. He did his Ph.D. from Utkal University in 1977. He hasbeen imparting teaching in taxonomy, microbiology, biotechnology etc. at Under- Graduate, Post-Graduate and M.Phil, levels. 


He has significant contributions in the field of cyanobacterial diversity and also angiosperm taxonomy. He has attended many national and international symposia and workshops and organized two national symposia.


 He has published many research articles in national and international journals. He has completed two U.G.C. research projects and has availed another U.G.C. project during 2009-10. He guides M.Phil, and Ph.D. students. He has written one text book 'A Text Book on Plant Nomenclature and Biodiversity Conservation'for B.Sc. and M.Sc. students and edited a book on 'Environmental Biotechnology and Biodiversity Conservation'.


 He writes popular articles in the science magazines, newspapers and also delivers talk on AIR and Doordarshan for diffusion of knowledge. He is the life member of many learned societies. He was conferred an honorary appointment to the 'Research Board of Advisors' since 2002 by the American Biographical Institute, Inc and also the award of "Scientist of the Year- 2004" by NESA, New Delhi. He was also appointed as "Facilitator-cum- Evaluator' by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, and New Delhi for a period of three years (2005-08).

CONTENTS:
A. Preface
B. List of Contributors
1. The Algal Industry Survey
    Mark Edwards
2. Prospective in Diatom Nanotechnology
    JannendraRath, SikhaMandal and Bijaya Kumar Padhi
3. Programmed Cell Death: An Integral Event in the Development of Algae and Higher Organisms
    Shiv ShankerPandey, Vivek Ambashtha and BudhiSagarTiwari
4. Spirulina: The Superfood and Medicine
    Preeti Das, A.K. Mishra andMihirK. Das
5. Application of Seaweeds as Food: A Scenario
    P.V. SubbaRao, K. Ganesan and K. Suresh Kumar
6. UV-B Radiation-Induced Stress and Protection Strategies in Cyanobacteria
    R.P. Sinha,M.B. Tyagi, Sushil Kumar and Ashok Kumar
7. Growth Response of Cyanobacteria from Sandy Soil and Mine Waste Burdened Soil to Different Environmental Variables
    PramilaTripathy and S.P. Adhikary
8. The Impact of Fungicides on Rice Field Cyanobacteria
    Anshuman Das and Mihir Kumar Das
9. Role of Blue Green Algae in Rice Production
    Y.V. Singh
10. Biotechnological Relevance of Microbes in Agriculture
    Rajan Kumar Gupta
11. Lipids and Fatty Acids from Marine Algae: A Potential Biofuel Resource
    S. Chakraborty and T. Bhattacharya
12. Algal Biodiesel: Procedures and Resources for Laboratory Study
    SimratKaur, H.K. Gogoi, R.B. Srivastava andM.C. Kalita
13. Industrial Utilization of Algal Fatty Acids
    S.B. Padhi, P.K. Swain, S.K. Behera and G. Behera
14. Cyanobacterial Toxins
    AnjanaPandey and ArchanaTiwari
15. Algae and the Human Affairs in the 21st Century
    Surendra Singh, Shipra Das and AnuradhaTiwari
16. Responses of Rice Field Cyanobacteria to Insecticides
    Mihir Kumar Das
17. Cyanobacterial Toxins and Public Health
    Mukesh Kumar
18. Cyanobacteria for Biofertilizer, Bioremediation and Bioactive Compounds
    Kaushal Kishore Choudhary
19. Production of Nutraceuticals and Antioxidant Enzymes in a Tropical Food Alga Nostochopsislobatus
    UshaPandey
20. Bioremediation of Heavy Metals by Microalgae
    V.D. Pandey
C. Author Index
D. Subject Index






.
Thu October 14 2010 11:03:51 PM by Aathmika 2 Mihir kumar Das  |  algal biotechnology  |  mark edwards

Algae research - temporary positions - IIT Kharagpur

Algal Biomass Production at IIT, Kharagpur

Applications are invited on plain paper for the following assignment on a purely time bound Project undertaken in the various Department of Biotechnology at the Indian Institute Of Technology, Kharagpur.
Project Title: High rate Algal Biomass production for Food, Feed, Biochemicals and Biofuels (ABP)
Reference Number: IIT/SRIC/R/ABP/2010/196, DATED 29th September, 2010
Temporary Position(s)
Research Associate (RA) -1
Junior Research Fellow (JRF)-1
Scientific Assistant (SA) -1
Project Assistant (PA) -1
Consolidated Compensation
Rs.25,000/- p.m.
Rs.12,000/- p.m.
Rs.15,000/- p.m.
Rs.8,000/- p.m.

Coordinator / PI Prof.: Debabrata Das, Department of Biotechnology

Qualifications & Experience
RA: Ph.D. or submitted Ph.D. thesis in Fermentation Technology/ Biochemical Engineering/ Biotechnology/ Protein Engineering/ Genetic Engineering. Candidates having at least three years practical knowledge on handling Cyanobacteria, Green algae and Bio-hydrogen production processes / Photo-bioreactor / Molecular Biology/Microbial processes/Computation will get preference.
JRF: B.Tech. / M.Tech in Biochemical Engineering / Chemical Engineering / Biotechnology or M.Sc. in Microbiology / Biochemistry. Candidate should have valid NET / GATE. Candidates having some practical knowledge on handling Cyanobacteria, Green algae and Bio-hydrogen production process / Photo-bioreactor / Molecular Biology / Microbial processes / Computation will get preference.
SA: Master Degree in any discipline with at least three years of working experience in wet biological laboratory work and hands on experience in operating lab scale fermentors, Preparation of Statement of Expenditure and Utilization Certificate for the project, budget preparation for the new project proposal. Experience on Bio-hydrogen pilot plant running will get preference.
PA: M.Sc. in Microbiology/Biochemistry; B.Sc./B.A./ B.Com. with at least three years working experience in wet laboratory for maintaining the microbial culture, records of the chemicals, instruments etc. Candidate should have basic knowledge in computer.

Last Date 31 Oct 2010

Application Fee Rs. 50(Not for RA & JRF and female candidates) /-

Interested eligible persons may apply (quote SRIC Reference on the top of the Application) on plain paper giving full bio-data along with attested copies of testimonials and a demand draft of the application fee drawn in favour of IIT Kharagpur payable at Kharagpur on or before last date mentioned against each. Applications may be submitted to:

Administrative Officer (Projects)
Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy
Indian Institute of Technology
Kharagpur 721302

Original Notification
Wed October 13 2010 03:20:03 PM by Aathmika IIT Kharagpur  |  algae research

Algae -Special Chemicals

BASF, a
leading chemical company  is continuously
exploring innovative technologies to provide products to its customers.



BASF SE
and Solix Biofuels, Inc.  announced that
they have signed an agreement to investigate the use of algae to produce
certain chemicals for BASF. Solix is a leading developer of
 algae
cultivation technology systems
 and
will test multiple algae species in its proprietary growth system, AGS?, for
BASF. Further terms were not announced.



. The
idea of using algae to produce chemicals has been around for a while, with some
proposing using algae to produce
 a chemical that can sell for
$800/gallon
.



The
use of algae, which consume CO
2 as part of their growth cycle, could potentially provide an
attractive way to produce certain chemicals from a renewable source.



http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/BASF-and-Solix-Biofuels-Collaborate-to-Produce-Specialty-Chemicals-From-Algae-1323021.htm



 




Mon October 11 2010 08:10:00 AM by Aathmika

Solazyme and Ecopetrol Extend Partnership

After 2 Years of R&D Collaboration, Solazyme Announces a Phase 3 Research and Development Agreement with Ecopetrol
 Solazyme, Inc., an industrial biotechnology company producing renewable oils and bioproducts using microalgae, has signed its third development agreement with Ecopetrol  the largest company in Colombia and one of the four major oil companies in Latin America, to analyze manufacturing viability of algae-based diesel fuel using renewable Colombian feedstocks such as sugarcane and byproduct glycerol. 
Ecopetrol has a strategic goal to provide at least 450 million tons of fuel from renewable oil sources by 2015. 
Ecopetrol's thought leadership and commitment to developing renewable sources of fuel is inspiring. Working with Ecopetrol, Solazyme's technology will provide Colombia with renewable sources of oil and fuel that dramatically reduce carbon pollution by replacing petro-diesel with a 'drop-in' replacement made using algae,: said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO of Solazyme. 
Ecopetrol is committed to meet targets to increase production of advanced biofuels in Colombia. After evaluating the competing technologies in the marketplace, we determined that Solazyme is an optimal partner to help us meet these targets due to the maturity of their technology and the compatibility with our existing infrastructure,: said Nestor Saavedra, Director of the Colombian Petroleum Institute of Ecopetrol. 
After a two-year R&D relationship, Solazyme and Ecopetrol will now move into the third phase, which includes establishing feedstock specifications and optimization, as well as conducting large-scale fermentation and engineering of demonstration scale facilities.
 Following this phase, the parties plan to move toward commercial deployment of renewable oil and fuel production.
Sat October 09 2010 11:21:17 PM by Aathmika 2 solazyme  |  ecopetrol  |  research and development  |  algae to oil