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Compare "Algae" with Billion Feedstock, its still the best! 5

Researchers and scientists are very frantically looking for an ideal feedstock for use as a biofuel source.Though there are many bio feedstock under research, some bottlenecks are hindering the way to make either of them commercially viable.

Earlier, first-generation feedstock were widely researched for fuel purposes.Taking into consideration the food-fuel debate, these feedstock were ignored and higher priority was given to the second-generation and the third generation feedstock.

These second generation feedstock include weeds such as Miscanthus or Camelina, whose biofuel potential were deciphered in the recent past.

Recently, the use of algae which is a third generation feedstock is being widely researched due to the advantage offered by it to grow even in waste water.

Dozens of potential feedstocks have been tested and many show promise. An Iowa based renewable energy company tested 34 feedstocks to choose the best out of them..
The feedstock included two types of algae, beef tallow, borage, camelina, canola, castor, choice white grease, coconut, coffee, corn oil, cuphea, evening primrose, fish, hemp, linseed, mustard, palm, poultry, rice bran, soybean, sunflower, used cooking oil and yellow grease.Some lesser-known feedstocks were also tested. The feedstock were tested based on15 parameters, some of which include moisture, free fatty acid, oxidative stability and cloud point.

Highlighted below are the feedstock which are believed to have a great potential in yielding oil in the near future

Feedstock Tested:

1. Babassu oil - Extracted from the seeds of the babassu palm tree, the babassu is common in Brazil, Mexico and Honduras. The kernels are 60-70 percent oil.

2.Hepar oil - A byproduct of the heparin manufacturing process, hepar oil is derived from the mucosal tissues of animals, such as pig intestines and cow lungs.

3.Jatropha oil - From a shrub also known as the physic nut, jatropha is native to Mexico, Central America, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay.

4.Jojoba oil - An evergreen perennial shrub that grows in Arizona and Mexico, jojoba dehulled seeds contain 44 percent liquid wax.

5.Karanja oil - A medium-sized evergreen tree that grows in India, karanja seed contains 27-39 percent oil.

6.Fendler's bladderpod oil - Also known as Lesquerella, Fendler's bladderpod is used similarly to castor oil.

7.Moringa oleifera oil - Native to India, Africa, Arabia, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, South America and the Philippines, Moringa seeds contain between 33 and 41 percent oil.

8.Neem oil - A large evergreen tree found in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Malaya, Indonesia, Japan and tropical regions in Australia, neem kernels contain 40-50 percent acrid green to brown-colored oil.

9.Perilla oil - Cultivated in China, Korea, Japan and India, the perilla plant's seeds contain 35-45 percent oil.

10.Stillingia oil - From the Chinese tallow tree, stillingia seeds contain 45-60 percent oil. The tree is used to prevent soil erosion and grows on marginal land in eastern Asia.

11.Tung oil - From the tung tree, tung seed is similar to linseed, safflower and soybean oil.

Eventually, the researchers have drawn a conclusion that algae will be the ideal feedstock. Though there are a lot of feedstock having the capability of yielding oil, algae offers several advantages for use as a fuel.Though not there yet, many scientists and biodiesel enthusiasts hope algae can be customized for biodiesel production.

Commercialization of algae is expected in 2013 claims the Algal Biomass Organization.The Algal Biomass was formed to facilitate commercialization and market development of microalgae biomass specifically for biofuels production and greenhouse gas abatement. There are several companies that are looking at raising algae in brackish or non-potable water with access to light and heat.

Additonally,Algae can also be raised in sludge water, wastewater treatment facilities, salt water and outdoor ponds in warm climate. Algae could be raised in conjunction with animal waste lagoons. Algae can use the carbon dioxide and nutrients from waste to grow rapidly, creating a symbiotic relationship.

Challenges faced:

The young industry has several challenges, though.
Some of the challenges include acquiring algae feedstocks, finding ways to make algae biodiesel profitable, and keeping protozoa at bay.

Wed April 07 2010 03:33:33 AM by Sumukhi bioenergy  |  Biofuel  |  algae 1522 views

Comments - 2

  • Mahesh wrote:
    Wed April 07 2010 11:26:17 AM

    Algal fuels ROCK in all ways.... :)

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

  • RaviPrasad wrote:
    Fri April 09 2010 12:08:49 PM

    THe third generation biofuel oilgae is no doubt precious fuel wihout ecological disturbances . It is working like nitrogen fixation by Rhizobium like symbiotic bacteria.

    Vote Up! 0 Vote Down! 0

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