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$52 million for algae fuel development- Solazyme Posted by Sumukhi on Tue August 10 2010 06:58:56 AM 6

Solazyme, a company based out of California have been working on a unique method of making algae fuels by using cheap sugars to grow algae in the dark.

As you might be aware of the fact that Solazyme uses a very different approach to make biofuels, they use heterotrophic algae in the dark while the others grow photo-autotrophic algae in light.These algae however doesn?t require sunlight, they need sugar for their growth. Intrestingly, Growing these algae in dark is a simplified process. It grows faster in dark than with light.

Heterotrophic algae are fed with sugars(corn, sorghum or other sources), they consume the food and show significant growth. They can reproduce every 8 hours.

The company's researchers feed algae sugar, which the organisms then convert into various types of oil. The oil can be extracted and further processed to make a range of fuels, including diesel and jet fuel, as well as other products.

There are some people who contradict saying , this might actually not work the sugars may turn more expensive. However, there are some researchers who argue saying that , even if they use corn as a sugar source for algae,they are still left with the corn protein and corn oil which can be used. Similarly if starch is used, they can be further used for ethanol production.

Surprisingly ,sugar-fed algae grow more rapidly. Researchers claim that algae grown in the dark can reach densities that are 1,000 times higher than strains of photo-autotrophic algae that are grown in the light . One concentrated tank of heterotrophic algae is equivalent to growing 1000 tanks of photo-autotrophic algae.

This company announced that it has raised $52 million in a series D round, which brings investment bank Morgan Stanley into its list of investors. In addition to venture-capital companies, the venture arms of Chevron and Japanese food ingredient manufacturer San-Ei Gen also participated.

Last month, it delivered 1,500 gallons of jet fuel made from algae to the U.S. Navy for testing and certification. Solazyme is also making chemicals for food ingredients and health products where its oil can be used as a substitute. Even with the funding and contracts with the U.S. military, Solazyme still faces the challenge of commercializing its technology by bringing down the cost of its oils, particularly for fuels.

More from here - http://www.oilgae.com/blog/2009/02/solazyme-differs-from-its-competitors.html

Algae Cultivation Next to Cement Plants Posted by Sumukhi on Mon August 09 2010 06:53:29 AM 6

The cement industry contributes about 5% of total global carbon dioxide emissions. Due to the dominant use of carbon intensive fuels, e.g. coal, in clinker making, the cement industry is also a major emitter of CO2 emissions. Hence growing algae next to these cement plants can be a fantastic opportunity to convert these stack gases to algae oil.

From where does these carbon-dioxide comes from??

Carbon dioxide emissions in cement manufacturing comes
a. Directly from combustion of fossil fuels
b. Calcining the limestone in the raw mix.
c. An indirect and significantly smaller source of CO2 is from consumption of electricity assuming that the electricity is generated from fossil fuels.

Roughly half of the emitted CO2 originates from the fuel and half originates from the conversion of the raw material. These carbon-dioxide emissions is very harmful and can be reduced by removing them from the flue gases and this is where our algae can be used!!

There are few efforts underway to capture these emissions one of which is a Canadian company called Pond biofuels has utilized this opportunity to capture the GHG emissions from the cement plants. In early April,2010, they planned to capture the emissions of the St. Marys Cement plant in southwestern Ontario. The company claims that it plans to capture the carbon dioxide and other emissions from the cement plant and will use it to create a nutrient-rich algae slime which can be dried and used as a fuel.

The algae will be grown at a facility adjacent to the stacks, harvested, dried using industrial waste heat, from the cement plant and then used along with the fossil fuels that are currently used in its cement kilns. The company says they hope to demonstrate the scalability of the industrial pilot project and to show that it can be employed on virtually any industrial stack.

More details of some efforts taken by other companies and the concept of algae cultivation near cement plants can be better understood from Oilgae.com - http://www.oilgae.com/algae/cult/cos/cem/cem.html

A video on algae carbon-capture from coal- fired power plants can also be obtained from - http://www.oilgae.com/videos/watch/31/Algae-cultivation---Seambiotic/

http://www.oilgae.com/algae/cult/cos/cem/cem.html