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NSMU toTransform Bubbling Pools of Algae to Fuel 15

New Mexico State University (NMSU) is currently cultivating the algae in two 1,000-liter raceway ponds at the Fabian Garcia Science Center. Construction on another two 1,000-liter raceway ponds, as well as a 4,000-liter photobioreactor, which controls the conditions for algae growth, will be completed by April 2011.
Sat December 18 2010 05:43:18 PM by Lucygreen 2393 views

Comments - 11

  • Shankar wrote:
    Mon December 20 2010 03:15:00 AM

    Isnt 1000 litres - too small tobe called a pond ?

    Vote Up! 3 Vote Down! 2

  • Monterio wrote:
    Mon December 20 2010 03:35:23 AM

    Ya, I am with you Shankar.. 1000 liters cannot be called a pond in the first place.. The universities get very excited about their venture.. I was reading through the news and it said two more 1000 litre ponds.and then a 4000 litre  by april 11.. but is that going to help? I doubt?

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  • Tue December 21 2010 02:30:55 AM

    I saw a comment in the club's 

    Topic of the week

    That comment pertains to this post. So, I am reposting it here. Comment by 

    StafforDocWilliamson

    " Here's a quote from a publicity release announce "progress" at New Mexico State University's algae research program: "For a university, on a research scale, producing four kilograms of dry algae a month is on the high end," Khandan said. "Considering we started four years ago from scratch, this is impressive. More importantly, we're also able to train master's and Ph.D. students in this emerging field and compete with major universities for funding in this area."


    Did you see that? FOUR KILOGRAMS (dry) per MONTH !! And they call that progress? Sorry, but that's just silly. The sad part is that this about matches their expectations of 1 gm per liter per month from a 4000 liter growth tank/PBR (about the size of 1 reactor on Arizona State Univ.'s roof).


    Sapphire (who are producing algae next door to NMSU) should be producing substantially more, but it is still not "commercial quantities", and they are a "leading" and "top 50" algae company. 
    We need VERY agressive development on the large scale of production. My company is working on this as one aspect of trying to expand "green fuels" to AFRICA.

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  • Tue December 21 2010 03:31:42 AM

    Doc,

    Maybe the lack of real inovation and progress you are talking about is what sometimes happens

    when taxpayer dollars are distributed to people who are more interested in more easy dollars then

    achievement of more real progress.

    Alan Schaefer

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  • Larsyn wrote:
    Tue December 21 2010 02:22:11 PM

    Well said Alan

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  • Akg117 wrote:
    Tue December 21 2010 03:27:27 PM

    Well...one should think of the purpose of evaluating 1000 L raceways.Its not for commercial terms its for research terms."And coming to innovation and progress..there is lot of other work thats presently going on at NMSU in algal biofuels but its not featured in that link".One should look at the strain and its oil content when its said as "4kgs" compared to what Sapphire is doing.Indeed its with NMSU Sapphire has collaborated initially and later separately moved on.Pls don't assume a single university production can answer the demand that we are up to now.Universities try to evaluate what has been alloted to them as a task, which is a part and parcel of the funding alloted to them.

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  • Anna wrote:
    Tue December 21 2010 05:53:56 PM

    I agree with Akg117.

    Here is another link which talks about about NSMU s work with algae -

    http://www.sapphireenergy.com/news-article/202595-nmsu-rallies-for-algae-future-of

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  • Monterio wrote:
    Tue December 21 2010 06:01:29 PM

    @Anna - We aren't criticising the research of NSMU.

    All we are trying to say here is We know growing algae in controlled conditions is technically possible. You grow algae in a raceway pond with controlled conditions, supply it with nutrients, harvest it and squeeze it using a press available in the laboratory,. you are sure to get algae oil. But algae companies are breaking their head to make this method ECONOMICALLY feasible...

    so the question really is why would people want to carry out research in such a small scale just to test in 1000 litre ponds if algae can give oil or not.

    @Akg117 - It will be gr8 if you could provide me with the source of the past collaboration of NSMU and sapphire..would like to know more about it..

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  • MattS wrote:
    Sun December 26 2010 07:11:32 PM

    I certainly don't mean to criticize anyone or anything about NMSU. They have certainly done nothing wrong and I appreciate their efforts. I hope what I'm going to post is not taken as insult for none is intended. I am however rather critical of what the Federal Government is spending tax money on. In this unique situation I have petitioned the Feds for algae biofuels commercialization funding by grant application and direct personal requests of elected officials for 3 years. For the past year, we have had our PBR with integrated continuous microalgae harvesting capacity waiting in a warehouse to begin the single final test for productivity certification to shore up financials for commercialization to begin in earnest. Not just for us, but for everybody else. 
    Yet in their infinite desire for press coverage, the Feds have given NMSU millions of dollars to re-invent the wheel when if they wanted to create jobs, somebody who is technologically ready to makes things go faster for the unemployed. My personal belief is that the Feds don't want to create jobs. They don't want biofuels to work. Logic dictates that we can do it with ease, but also that the manner in which funds are allocated has been externally twisted and the stated purpose, to bring biofuels technologies to commercialization is being used as an excuse to foolishly put their foot a little further down on the accelerator on our race to the bottom with China. Some things people do I will never understand.


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  • Mon December 27 2010 12:36:25 AM

    Matt,

    I like your blog, a little wimpy for my taste, but still it addresses the big problem.  Whenever, if ever, President ZERO and his merry crew of misfits decide to get serious about massive CO2 emissions we might see the grant train get on the right track and then real, meaningful progress will be made on the Global Warming Problem.  In the meantime, good researchers like yourself will do without the seed money that will make a meaningful difference in mitigating the CO2 problem.

    To quote you from a previous blog............Get big or go home!......It's time for the test tube crowd to test something else.

    Alan Schaefer

    Vote Up! 3 Vote Down! 0

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