Oilgae Comprehensive Report

algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

algOS is an open source attempt to create an open source framework for figuring out the best way to get energy from algae!

algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

Postby cacofonix » Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:45 am

algOS – Oil from Algae Open Source

The Oil from Algae OS is an attempt at an open source model for finding the best methods to produce biodiesel from algae.

How does algOS work?

World over, a few passionate people are trying to figure out ways to derive oil from various species of algae in order to make biodiesel. While there are other crops as well whose oils can be used to produce biodiesel, algae present a very interesting proposition because they have few of the drawbacks other feedstock have. (a) Algae for instance have oil yields that are over a hundred times higher than that for soy, implying that for the same amount of oil, they require only a fraction of the area required to grow soy! (b) Owing to their ability to grow practically anywhere, algae as feedstock also do not contribute to large-scale deforestation. (c) Since they are not part of the human food chain at present, algae oil also present no conflicts with our existing food supplies. For more info on why oil from algae could be the fuel of the future, see the various sections @ Oilgae for more inputs in this regard.

The principle behind “open source oil” is to aggregate research inputs from a variety of experts all over the world in order to arrive at a full-cycle design for biodiesel production from algae. All assets that will be created will be governed by laws similar to those of GNU GPL, or possibly the same rules. Simply put, a framework such as GNU GPL provides the freedom to a multitude of researches to use and modify designs/ideas made by other researchers. Such a framework facilitates research and collaboration.

Consider the field of energy, especially energy from oil. From the time oil was discovered until today, a few companies in the world have been able to control the production and distribution of this resource. Why did this happen? For a range of reasons, some of which were perhaps not in any individual’s control.

Now consider the emerging alternative sources of energy. Some of these sources (especially biofuels) can put the control back in the farmers’ and individuals’ hands simply because the feedstock is being produced by them. However, production of oilseeds is only a part of the story – there still remain oil extraction, refining, conversion to Biodiesel / ethanol and transportation. All these require optimal technology and processes to be devised.

The Big Oil companies have started setting their eyes on biofuels as well and have begun work on all aspects of biofuels – from planning captive farms to building biofuel refineries. But should they be allowed to control our key energy assets in future too?

Rather not.

We feel that rather than having proprietary companies develop sub-optimal designs of their own and then have a monopoly on oil / biofuel production, an open source design platform will ensure (a) that the design is more robust because many more experts are involved in it, and (b) its open nature will imply that many, many people small and large all over the world can use this technology to provide benefits to one of the most pressing problems we are facing today – energy.

algOS, which stands for algae Open Source is all about that – an open source movement for oil production from algae.

While the open source energy / biofuel concept can be extended to any biofuel, we are starting this movement with algae as the feedstock as we feel algae have one of the best chances of being our biofuel energy crop of the future.

We feel that deriving oil & Biodiesel from algae is an apt domain in which an open source collaborative research model could help, for the following reasons:

1. As algae grow in most countries of the world, professionals and enthusiasts from most parts of the world can participate.
2. Research on oil & fuel from algae is at a nascent stage, which means it is fertile for collaborative, open-source research.
3. Having an open-source, non-proprietary technology for algal oil production could in future help farmers and individuals all across the world to play a more active role in farming and production for algal fuel – in other words, an open source oil production framework can facilitate micro-energy production. This can have tremendous implications for both the economics of the oil, as well as for poverty alleviation and associated social benefits, especially in the developing and under-developed countries.

Well, it's not as if I know how this will eventually work out, but as the saying goes, nothing ventured nothing gained.

I look forward to your inputs on algOS in this forum and let's hope this evolves into something practicable in the near future.
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Re: algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

Postby just watching » Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:42 pm

The question I would like answerd is( Are there any algae farms making a profit producing fuel oil ?).
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Re: algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

Postby cacofonix » Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:01 pm

just watching wrote:The question I would like answerd is( Are there any algae farms making a profit producing fuel oil ?).


The answer in one word: NO; The answer in two words: NOT YET; The answer in four words: Unlikely in near future
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Re: algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

Postby Howard » Sun Oct 12, 2008 10:14 pm

I whole heartedly support the Open Source concept. To date, the notion of making oil from algae has been a mix of voodoo, promise and hype. It is either a valid concept or it is not.

I'll use Origin Oil as an example. Here is a link to the News section of their website:

http://www.originoil.com/originoil/news.html

The most recent bit of news mentions lab results that suggest production of as much as 20 grams dry matter algae per liter in a 24 to 36 hour period might be possible. Without knowing what the volume of oil produced by a gram of dry matter algae is, that makes it a tough nut to crack as far as projecting production by area, which if you follow the Origin Oil process, may be a meaningless number anyway. Their vision is of a modular "bio-reactor", not unlike a town water plant or brewery. Without seeing a scaled up model, it's impossible to say if it works or what the cost per unit of production is or might be. They have not said so I'm left to guess. Such is the nature of the beast.

The nature of this beast is the limited information provided represents the work product of a for profit publicly traded corporation, more interested in developing the technology to sell than it is in producing oil from algae. The value here is the intellectual rights in the form of patents, etc. That seems to be the goal of almost all of the companies working on oil from algae. Selling information, not oil. They disclose just enough information to attract investors, but to not divulge anything of real value that could be used by a competitor. As such, there is a trust (and in some cases...lack of trust) factor on the part of the investors. Such a landscape is ripe for frauds and ripoffs and there are those out there running the the true innovators. All of them offer promise and hype, but where are the results?

An Open Source process would go a long way towards informing and educating the public to cut down on the scams and allow industry observers to really follow legitimate development from a knowledge based perspective. Let's call them an informed truth squad. I'm all for it!

OILGAE is the best hope for this that I'm currently aware of. Lacking a government effort on par with the Manhatten Project, I know of no other way of doing it. Perhaps a small core of dedicated "algae geeks" can begin putting together an online "body of knowledge"....a living document of knowledge that comes from documented successes and failures of the industry. I'd certainly support government funding of such an effort, taken in part from the Federal Fuel Tax. My guess is that 10 really dedicated individuals working on a budget of $1 to $2 million per year could do wonders.
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Re: algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

Postby greenearth » Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:50 am

I'm a senior @ Utah Valley University in biology with a minor in Chem, and started Clear sky Biofuels
the problem is the consistency in algae species production.
you have over 5000 species of viable algae with lipid ranges between
10 to 40 % there really are'nt any standardized measurement capabilities
yet, but everyone wants the be on the Band wagon with the tech.
science is a slow process compared with technology. also the research spending
in this country has gone down the toilet.
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Re: algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

Postby PradeepIV » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:07 pm

[quote="just watching"]The question I would like answerd is( Are there any algae farms making a profit producing fuel oil ?).[/quote]
I did a basic process economic analysis of algal biofuel production from cement plant-CO2 capture (GreenFuel's process). Details are on my blog, but the upshot is that a doubling of oil prices and/or a doubling or productivity are required to make this process economically justifiable. Interestingly, CO2 offset prices play only a minor role in the overall economics.
http://energy-eng.blogspot.com/2008/11/ ... re-ii.html
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Re: algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

Postby kingroly » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:24 pm

[quote="Howard"]I whole heartedly support the Open Source concept. To date, the notion of making oil from algae has been a mix of voodoo, promise and hype. It is either a valid concept or it is not.

I'll use Origin Oil as an example. Here is a link to the News section of their website:

http://www.originoil.com/originoil/news.html

The most recent bit of news mentions lab results that suggest production of as much as 20 grams dry matter algae per liter in a 24 to 36 hour period might be possible. Without knowing what the volume of oil produced by a gram of dry matter algae is, that makes it a tough nut to crack as far as projecting production by area, which if you follow the Origin Oil process, may be a meaningless number anyway. Their vision is of a modular "bio-reactor", not unlike a town water plant or brewery. Without seeing a scaled up model, it's impossible to say if it works or what the cost per unit of production is or might be. They have not said so I'm left to guess. Such is the nature of the beast.

The nature of this beast is the limited information provided represents the work product of a for profit publicly traded corporation, more interested in developing the technology to sell than it is in producing oil from algae. The value here is the intellectual rights in the form of patents, etc. That seems to be the goal of almost all of the companies working on oil from algae. Selling information, not oil. They disclose just enough information to attract investors, but to not divulge anything of real value that could be used by a competitor. As such, there is a trust (and in some cases...lack of trust) factor on the part of the investors. Such a landscape is ripe for frauds and ripoffs and there are those out there running the the true innovators. All of them offer promise and hype, but where are the results?

An Open Source process would go a long way towards informing and educating the public to cut down on the scams and allow industry observers to really follow legitimate development from a knowledge based perspective. Let's call them an informed truth squad. I'm all for it!

OILGAE is the best hope for this that I'm currently aware of. Lacking a government effort on par with the Manhatten Project, I know of no other way of doing it. Perhaps a small core of dedicated "algae geeks" can begin putting together an online "body of knowledge"....a living document of knowledge that comes from documented successes and failures of the industry. I'd certainly support government funding of such an effort, taken in part from the Federal Fuel Tax. My guess is that 10 really dedicated individuals working on a budget of $1 to $2 million per year could do wonders.[/quote]

I i think the 2 million is good enough if they use wisely..good luck guys..



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Re: algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

Postby daywalker20 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:18 am

Having an open-source, non-proprietary technology for algal oil production could in future help farmers and individuals all across the world to play a more active role in farming and production for algal fuel – in other words, an open source oil production framework can facilitate micro-energy production. This can have tremendous implications for both the economics of the oil, as well as for poverty alleviation and associated social benefits, especially in the developing and under-developed countries.
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Re: algOS - algae oil Open Source - an introduction

Postby irah29 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:42 am

Hello!

I am new in this site...
I have a great time reading your post...
i learn new things here...
Thank you for sharing...
God bless...

***IRAH***

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