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Conference on Algae Solutions and Investment Opportunities - Singapore, Oct 19-20 2010 Posted by Sumukhi on Thu September 23 2010 03:49:02 AM 6

The 3rd Algae World Asia conference conducted by the Centre for Management Technology (CMT) in October will run on the 19th and 20th at Goodwood Park Hotel, Singapore.

This conference is designed to act as a catalyst to facilitate constructive exchanges among the Academic, Commercial and Investment community involved in algae sector, with agenda that highlights upcoming opportunities in Asia and spotlights successful Algae businesses.
The conference is expected to attract over 100 participants from  all around the globe. CMT invites other visitors and sponsors to attend this event.

The main themes of the conference are as follows:
  • Sharing of Practical Experiences in Algae Production
  • Value Proposition in Algae-based Carbon Capture
  • Value Proposition in Waste Water Treatment
  • Algae Technology Development in Asia Pacific
  • Current & future Development of Algae-Based Bioenergy

To accomplish the above themes, the event has got eminent speakers such as Dr.John R. Benemann and speakers from MBD Energy Ltd, Aurora Algae Pty Ltd, OriginOil, St. Marys Cement Inc  and many more.

The participants of this conference also include many algae producers, equipment suppliers, algae research institutes, financiers and investors, power plant operators and more from across the globe.

 Many companies involved in making high-value algae end -products and other algae- products will also be participating and presenting their technology during this mega event.

Should your firm be interested in joining as a visitor or sponsor, please get in touch with:

Ms. Sharmila,
Centre for Management Technology
sharm@cmtstp.com.sg

Oilgae is a media partner for the event and will be assisting CMT in promoting this exciting event.

For all the algae enthusiasts www.cmtevents.com/main.aspx?ev=101038&pu=204187

Algae.Tec signs Two MOU Posted by Sumukhi on Fri August 27 2010 04:53:55 AM 12

Algae.tec Limited, which has secured the exclusive global rights to a pioneering highly-efficient algae growth and harvesting system (the McConchie-Stroud System) that produces algal products (such as algal oil and biomass) that can be used to generate sustainable bio-fuels, today announced two MOU's for non-binding commitments to deploy the technology in China and Australia.

Algae.Tec is currently undertaking an Initial Public Offering by way of a prospectus dated 16 July 2010 with the intention to list on the ASX by the end of September 2010. The Company?s ASX code will be AEB.

What sets Algae Tec's technology apart is that it exploits a patented system of algae growth not within ponds but within converted shipping containers. Scalability thus becomes modular, and land requirement is reduced by the ability to stack those modules. The closed modules are not exposed to the same problems as open ponds. And, most importantly, the modules are readily transportable.

In the pond system, the CO2 must come to the pond. To improve yields and accelerate algal growth, captured CO2 can be introduced but (a) it must be transported to the site from an emitter and (b) a lot of the introduced CO2 will simply bubble out of the pond again. In Algae.Tec?s system, the ?pond? comes to the CO2.

Closed modules can be stacked adjacent to an emitter (eg a power station) and everybody wins. The emitter has a direct and measurable carbon offset and the introduced CO2 exponentially accelerates algae biomass production for conversion into commercial products which are themselves a source of renewable alternative energy (which in theory can also be used as an energy source by said emitter).

Partnership with Shoalhaven Starches Pty Ltd.
Algae.Tec has now signed a memorandum of understanding with Shoalhaven Starches Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the Manildra Group. Manildra is primarily a producer of wheat flour and secondarily a producer of differentiated by-products such as gluten, glucose and starch. Nowra-based Shoalhaven Starches converts starch into ethanol, making the Manildra Group Australia?s largest ethanol producer.

Manildra's ethanol production plant operates using a CO2-emitting power plant. Therein lies a potential source of CO2 for exploitation by Algae.Tec technology, but CO2 is actually also emitted from the conversion of starch into ethanol. For Algae.Tec, its a double-whammy.

Algae.Tec has thus found the site for its demonstration plant. At the time its IPO prospectus was published, it had not. This means a supplementary prospectus has now been published and the close of application date for the IPO has been extended to September 17. Algae.Tec hopes to have the demonstration plant in operation by the June quarter, 2011.

The demonstration plant will consist of two or three container modules but if it proves successful the MOU extends to the construction of Algae.Tec's first commercial plant at the site consisting of some 200-300 containers. Requisite council and environmental applications for such a plant will be filed immediately rather than waiting until after the demonstration proves viable.

The Nowra-based plant would then be the world's first commercial algae operation. At this point, Algae.Tec is not yet planning to produce its own ethanol from the resultant biomass given there are a number of options to be explored, including directing the algae to the production of nutrient-rich stock feed for sale in the region.

Another MOU
Algae.Tec has also signed another new MOU which becomes part of the supplementary prospectus. The MOU involves Algae.Tec in a partnership with Bioenergy Investment Ltd ? an alternative energy investment vehicle incorporated in Hong Kong. Bioenergy Investment is itself a joint venture between Hong Kong company Pacific Minerals and Australian company RKD International.

The purpose of the joint venture is to first seek intellectual property protection for Algae.Tec?s technology in China.

Clearly Algae.Tecs two new MOUs, to add to existing the MOU with logistics and plant construction and management specialist Leighton Holdings, are of a material nature. Hence the supplementary prospectus and extended closing date for the $7.5m IPO.

Prospective investors must take note that while all of the above sounds very promising, algae technology is yet to be proven on a commercial scale anywhere in the world. While demonstration plants are intended to provide proof, there are no guarantees. This is a speculative investment. There will be no cashflow ahead of commercialisation. And the commerialisation phase will require the issuing of significantly more capital.

Algae Fuels- Emerging opportunity for India Posted by Sumukhi on Wed August 18 2010 10:06:48 AM 7

When algae are grown they should be provided the best possible conditions to achieve their growth potential. I was earlier a bit skeptical about growing algae in open-ponds. However, when I visualize a country such as India - a few states in India have ample of land, sunshine throughout the year and easy access to marine water, isn't growing algae in open-ponds using marine water a good option? I say it's a big YES!

Many scientists claim that filtered sea water is a good medium for algae to grow, though additional nutrient requirement to some extent might be required. Again, the nutrient cost is less, research studies reveal that it is as less as $1 for 80 Kg's of algae biomass.

Considering the harvesting of algae, cheap labor is a major advantage offered by India, so why not use semi-automated methods for harvesting algae which is less energy intensive and less costly.

Apparently, there are a few algae farms, specifically Spirulina farms which are managed by the local village women. There is a farm at Madurai - Follow the link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6cslNtc6P4
wherein there are 40 tanks maintained by 15 women, they take care of both the upstream and the downstream processes of spirulina cultivation and production of the end-product.

All this might not be exactly the same for biofuel strains of algae, however, in my opinion,this is how things should evolve for algae biofuel commercialization in India as well.

As said earlier, most of the states in India experiences sunlight throughout the year, so solar drying is an excellent option.Similarly, dewatering is also done manually. Here I foresee an issue for extraction, as for Spirulina, it is dried, powdered and sold at a high price. There are other challenges if biofuels are considered, extraction is difficult.

May be along with biofuel, some expensive by-product should be produced. Many companies are actually trying to that, a few Indian researchers are producing biobutanol and other products to cope up the cost.

The story behind 1500 gallons of Solazyme's jet fuel to the U.S. Navy Posted by Sumukhi on Wed August 11 2010 05:17:27 PM 56

Solazyme,a San Francisco-based algae company claimed that they provided about 1500 gallons of algae-based jet fuel , infact 100 percent algae-based fuel to the U.S. Navy. So, I was actually wondering what is so special about it that the U.S. Navy is after it.

SOLAZYME's UNIQUE APPROACH TOWARDS ALGAE-BASED JET FUEL

Harris Dillion, the founder of Solazyme Inc. claims that their technology is to feed the biomass
( industrial and agricultural) for the algae,the algae eats it up and accumulate oil in their cells. They take the algae out, dry it and squeeze 80% of oil. They then transport this in a tanker to their biorefinery where this oil is converted into jet-fuel and more.

Algae strain selection as you might be aware is a resource intensive exercise,Solazyme has dedicated many years of research to identify the best oil yielding strain which can produce oil. In fact they are using an engineered algal strain.

OPEN-PONDS WONT WORK!--- ECONOMICALLY NOT FEASIBLE:

The company apparently is seven years old and the process with the tank and growing the algae has been in development for about four years. Before that, they spent a few years growing the algae in ponds using sunlight, and realized that would never work.

The cost of making a gallon of oil by growing algae in the sun according to Dillon is about $1,000 a gallon. They then realized that the process of feeding biomass to yeast to make ethanol, which is about $2 a gallon. So they fed the sugars to algae, and use the same process to make oil.

SOLAZYME's JET-FUEL MEETS ALL THE REQUIREMENTS:

They have considered all the aspects of the normal jet-fuel and worked on producing the same from their algae jet fuel for the US navy. There are many properties such as flash points,or freezing points, because it's very cold in the sky. You have to be above a certain freezing point. The standards are pretty stringent and of course, it needs to have a certain density because there?s not a lot of room on a jet.

Also, the density of jet fuel is actually a little lower than diesel because if you drop the density you can keep it from solidifying at cold temperatures.

Interestingly, no changes need to be made in the aircraft to support this fuel. There is no requirement of new engines, new pipelines or new gas pumps.

Solazyme actually aims at making the fuel meet every single fuel standard the Navy has so it can be used as a 100 percent drop-in replacement and now that they have delivered 1500 gallons of jet-fuel to the US navy, they will now send it to laboratories to get the final approval before they test their planes. Additionally,

Solazyme is also planning to deliver about 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel which will be used for ships.
They claim that they will be able to make oil $60 to $80 a barrel within two years, and they say that they are not much higher than that now.

The Air Force is also certainly interested in these fuels as well. The Navy has a goal to operate at least 50 percent of its fleet on clean, renewable fuel by 2020. The Navy has led the way in putting a bold target out there and getting this program up and running.

Good luck to Solazyme!!!

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

According to Solazyme,

1. Their method of algae production doesn?t require light ( heterotropic)

2. They unlike others grow algae in steel tanks (fermenters) and not in open- ponds or Photobioreactors.

3. They wish to use existing infrastructure (large-scale fermentation tanks and bio refineries).

4. They have supplied 15,000 gallons to US Navy and their jet-fuel is 100% algae-based.

5. The U.S. Navy has sent it for testing it in laboratories and will use it only after they get it approved.

6. They plan to provide 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel for the Navy to run the ships.

7. Initially, they tried to grow algae in open-ponds but as they felt open ?ponds is economically not viable they have opted for dark-fermentation using cheap sugars.

8. Air-force is also interested in Solazyme's jet fuel

9. Solazyme has provided 15,000 gallons of jet-fuel to the U.S. Navy at their own cost.

Microalgae to biodiesel in a pressure cooker Posted by Sumukhi on Tue May 04 2010 10:30:29 AM 12

Rea searchers from America claim that microalgae can be heated in a pressure cooker.The pressure-cooker method the U-M researchers are studying bucks the trend in algae-to-fuel processing.

The conventional technique involves cultivating special, oily types of algae, drying the algae and then extracting its oil.

The hydrothermal process this project employs allows researchers to start with less-oily types of algae.

The process also eliminates the need to dry it, overcoming two major barriers to large-scale conversion of microalgae to liquid fuels.

The researchers state that they first make an algae soup, heat it to about 300 degree and keep the water at high pressure, it is then cooked for about 30 mins to get a crude bio-oil.

The principle behind this is quite simple, the algae utilises the high temperature and pressure, react with the water and break down. The proteins and carbohydrates also get decomposed in addition to the bio-oil.

Not only does the native oil get released, but proteins and carbohydrates also decompose and add to the fuel yield.

The challenges faced by this method is the removing the tar that pops out of the pressure cooker. All that has to be done is to change the property of the tar so that it flows easily. however, a cost-effective way is being researched upon.

Investigation is going on to find ways to use catalysts to reduce the density of the resulting bio-oil and also to further reduce its sulfur and nitrogen content.

Moreover, they're examining the process from a life-cycle perspective, seeking to recycle waste products to grow new source material for future fuel batches.

For all those of the scientific bent - http://news.oneindia.in/2010/04/23/newpressure-cooking-technique-converts-algae-intoc.html

Compare "Algae" with Billion Feedstock, its still the best! Posted by Sumukhi on Wed April 07 2010 03:33:33 AM 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.

http://www.theprairiestar.com/articles/2010/03/12/ag_news/technology/tech10.txt

Carbon Trust will Decipher a Winning Formula for algae biodiesel commercialisation by 2030 Posted by Sumukhi on Tue April 06 2010 03:37:11 AM 35

The Carbon Trust has made big plans to develop a sustainable, cost effective biofuel from algae.
This UK-based sustainability firm has joined hands with twelve other UK firms working on the same domain, and this group claims that they will come up with winning solutions for cultivating 70 billion litres of algae biofuel a year by 2030. These twelve firms were selected based on their proposals and an assessment process.

This algae biofuel research will start from scratch: Starting from first principles of agriculture, thousands of strains of algae will be screened to find the winning few that can produce large quantities of a substance similar to vegetable oil.

Other research areas also include: Developing methods for enabling large-scale production in algae ponds .
A construction of a pilot demo plant has also been planned by carbon trust.

As you all know, Algae has the potential to produce 5 to 10 times more oil per hectare than conventional cropland biofuels The new Carbon Trust lifecycle analysis indicates that,over a period of few years, it could provide carbon savings of up to 80 per cent compared to fossil fuel petrol and jet fuel.

Production of 70 billion litres will require man-made algae ponds equivalent to a landmass larger than Wales to be built in optimum locations across the world.

Algae need a source of carbon dioxide and water to grow so the Carbon Trust is now looking to investigate possible locations for large-scale plants which could be, for example, next to industrial facilities located near the sea.

If this process is sucessful, algae oil can be obtained from prices even less than $1 per litre.

See more - http://bit.ly/90R0av

Algae fuels - A Dream Come True. Posted by Sumukhi on Mon April 05 2010 03:34:47 AM 1

A company working on algae fuels claims that it has cracked the code for commercializing algae jet fuel and they hope that it can be used soon;there is no need to wait for another fifteen-twenty years to see this happen.

The company is Solazyme, which is a leading renewable oil and bioproducts company. This company employs algal biotechnology techniques to produce clean fuels, chemicals,foods and health science products.

Technology: Growing algae in dark fermentation tanks is an innovative way of growing algae.Solazyme grows the strains in a dark vessel to produce fuels. By growing their algae in dark vessels, the company does not incur the energy costs of providing the algae artificial light.In short, Solazyme basically feed their algae sugar until they become plumpy enough to explode with oil .

This type of fermentation is referred to as Heterotropic fermnentation. This process requires a fraction of the amount of water as a PBR or open pond. These strains of algae also do not require C02 and this is accepted by the algae experts round the globe.

Two logistic hindrances to issue faced by algae biofuels have been overcome by this firm.

1. Photosynthetic algae commercialization.

2. The other is removing the water, which isn't an issue because the cultivation is done in dark vessels.

The company also strongly believes that the algae jet fuel will be a dream come true soon,though many of the algae scientists claim that algae have long-term prospects only and not much can be done in the near future.

Good luck to Solazyme!!!

See more - http://bit.ly/aGcENc

P.S: The company has not disclosed its extraction method, but they claim that the process will cost a few cents per gallon, which really sounds exciting.