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If algae don't contain lignin why no algae ethanol attemps?

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:45 pm
by cacofonix
I was pleasantly surprised by what I read earlier today. No algae contains lignin ( I double checked with my science colleague and she confirmed it.) Now that simply begs the question as to why algae high in cellulose are not used for cellulosic ethanol ? We all know that the cellulose being bound by the lignin is what makes pretreatment (a very costly operation) a must for cellulosic ethanol. If algae don't contain lignin, there is no need for pre-treatment, and cellulosic ethanol from algae should be far cheaper than cellulosic ethanol from other biomass...

Am I missing something or am I a genius?

Re: If algae don't contain lignin why no algae ethanol attemps?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:05 am
by DR Johansen
cacofonix wrote: If algae don't contain lignin, there is no need for pre-treatment, and cellulosic ethanol from algae should be far cheaper than cellulosic ethanol from other biomass...
Am I missing something or am I a genius?

Algae still need pre-treatment (or maybe you are just calling it treatment) to convert the cellulose into simple sugars that can be fermented. Yeast don't work on cellulose.

Re: If algae don't contain lignin why no algae ethanol attemps?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:41 pm
by JToeppen
You have learned an important fact. Your genius status will only be confirmed if you do something useful with the information!

But, you are right that aquatic species have little use for lignin for structural support. Apparently there are a few species of red algae in coastal waters that have lignin and probably use it to deal with the surf. Land plants may be descendants from such species. Land plants need lignis for resiliance and structure. Lignin and its precursers also have certain antimicrobe properties that might help algaes survive. Algae is not poisoned by lignin.

You might find this interesting:
http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/20319/?a=f
The ability to convert sugars to oils is the lession from this one.

The ability of fungus to accomplish lignin digestion is one lession from this one:
http://www.ehponline.org/docs/1993/101- ... tions.html

The pieces of the puzzels are out there. Find the other pieces and assemble to prove your genius!

John Toeppen

Re: If algae don't contain lignin why no algae ethanol attem

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:43 am
by MarcyLino
conversion of sugar to oil.
"Solazyme, a startup based in South San Francisco, CA, has developed a new way to convert biomass into fuel using algae, and the method could lead to less expensive biofuels. The company recently demonstrated its algae-based fuel in a diesel car, and in January, it announced a development and testing agreement with Chevron."

Do you think Wartrol will also work?

Re: If algae don't contain lignin why no algae ethanol attem

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 12:40 am
by MichaelRodriguez
For some reason I doubt this will work out. It'll be kind of the same thing as corn fuel.