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Algae Fuel News from Biomass Magazine Apr 2010 Issue 2

The April 2010 issue of Biomass Magazine released three interesting articles related to algae fuels.
1. Open Ponds Versus Closed Bioreactors by Anna Austin
2. Biofuels or Bust by Lisa Gibson
3. Great Green Hope: The Corporate Love Affair with Algae by Todd Taylor

These articles provide enormous insights on the algae fuel domain. I am providing below a short summary of these articles:

1. Open pond Versus Closed Bioreactors - This article compares the merits and demerits of open algae cultivation systems with those of closed systems like bioreactors. Some companies like Bodega Algae and Origin oil prefer to grow algae in closed photobioreactors whereas, some companies like bioalgene are keen on growing algae in open systems. Despite the fact that open ponds are cheap, companies use closed systems to avoid contamination and to have a proper control over the cultivation environment. This article clearly highlights the need for inexpensive photobioreactor systems for growing algae.

2. Biofuels or Bust - It is true that algae have enormous potential as a fuel source, but the technology for large scale commercialization is still not clear. Riggs Eckelberry, president and CEO of California-based OriginOil Inc., suggests growing of algae next to wastewater treatment plant as one viable option for large scale commercialization. According to him, the three major problems with large scale algae cultivation are:
i. Cell density
ii. Quality of oil, and
iii. Oil extraction
Having these three as major barriers, Riggs visualizes algae fuel commercialization to be within 5 - 7 years.

3. Great Green Hope: The Corporate Love Affair with Algae - Most of the attention has been focused on algae biofuels as a replacement for fossil fuel. The companies are also interested in the other high-value products like chemicals, feed, nutraceuticals and food industries, as the production of algae-derived products may be simpler than fuels and the markets may also be readily accessible. The article features companies like Mars Symbioscience Inc., Cargill Inc., which are actively exploring non-fuel products from algae.
Wed April 07 2010 03:29:17 AM by Parkavi Algae-fuel-industry 1558 views
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