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Will Algae Fuels be more Abundant and Economical? Posted by Sumukhi on Fri April 09 2010 03:26:14 AM 5

This article caught upon my eye when I was researching on the current status of algae biofuels. Its quite interesting and it explains the need of algae fuels from scratch and goes into details such as VC funding as well.
Research studies claim that the algae industry is getting there -growing, harvesting, separating and converting to useful oils is nearing completion which should reduce the production costs to a considerable extent.

I have summarized the cost of algae biofuels in the near future and some details regarding the VC funding and algae farmers.As discussed even before, algae biofuel production involves four stages:

a. Growing the algae
b. Harvesting the algae
c. Separating the oil
d. Rrefining the oil to useful fuels

Some algae enthusiasts believe that each acre of algae cultivation could theoretically produce the equivalent of thousands of gallons of oil per year, compared with an estimated yield of 18 to 335 gallons of ethanol per acre for traditional biofuel crops.A few others claim that algae-growing systems has the ability to yield 100,000 gallons per acre annually.

Currently, producing biodiesel from algal oil costs about $20 a gallon. But with all the attention being given each of the multiple steps in the fuel production process, some producers are projecting production costs as low as $1.50 a gallon. If costs drop that low within the next 10 years, algal biodiesel will begin to place an effective ceiling on the costs of petrol diesel. It will take time to scale up production, of course.

Here are some details about VCs and Algae Farmers

Dr. John Benneman, an eminent algae consultant exclaims that "VCs cannot come in here and just harvest ripened fruit, this is not shovel ready technology,?

Considering the immense technical risks and high capital costs of building an algae company, it doesn't seem like a reasonable venture capital play.And most if not all of the VCs categorize these investments as the longer-term in their portfolio. But given the size of the liquid fuels market, measured in trillions of dollars, not the customary billions of dollars, it makes some sense to take the low-percentage shot.

Check out this interesting article - http://bit.ly/dxZuv4

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