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Pilot Stage Efforts in Algae Fuels

September 7th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Energy-Companies, Algae-Fuel-Research

Here is a summary of the pilot stage efforts taken in the area of algae fuels. A short description of the company and their pilot stage efforts have been highlighted below:

  1. Aquatic Energy (www.aquaticenergy.com)

A Los Angeles based company currently working on growing proprietary strains of “green algae” that are native to the southwestern Louisiana to produce biofuels. Aquatic Energy aims to commercialize algae technology in the Gulf Coast of the United States. This company claims that their pilot stages have sustained the required growth and lipid results necessary for profitable production.

Pilot Efforts:

  • Aquatic energy has built a pilot scale algae farm to test its culture growth, harvesting, and extraction techniques.
  • It has built 100-meter length raceway-ponds in clay soils to test pond design and construction methods.
  • It has also built a four-hectare scale pilot in order to test its paddle wheel designs, water management methods on clay soils.

2.   Carbon Capture Corporation ( www.carbcc.com)

As the name suggests, this US based company mainly works on CO2 sequestration and capture using algae. This company is now in its fifth year of operation and they are taking considerable efforts to cooperate with federal agencies and private parties to achieve its mission of reducing green house gas emissions, produce sustainable fuels and produce feed from algae.

Pilot Efforts:

  • Uses two Capstone C330 (30 kW each) running on propane and used to generate emissions – resembling those from a natural gas fired power facility – that are fed into one of the two dedicated 240,000-gallon raceways where Spirulina algae is produced and harvested.
  • In addition to actual production data and costs, the pilot test is also expected to provide valuable insight regarding air and water chemistry associated with the process

3. Aurora Biofuels ( www.aurorabiofuels.com )

This Chicago based firm are growing algae which feed on carbon dioxide and sequester 90 percent of the CO2 fed into their environment. Because of this ability, Aurora Biofuels aims to become an important player in the emerging cap-and-trade market by converting carbon producers waste emissions into algae feedstock.

Pilot Efforts:

  • Aurora Biofuels maintains its pilot facility at a location in coastal Florida.and has successfully operated a pilot plant since August 2007 that has consistently produced ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) quality biodiesel.

4.Cellana – Shell & HR Biopetroleum (www.cellana.twokings.eu)

Cellana is working on creating a system to identify the most suitable naturally occurring strains of marine algae for the production of different biofuels and animal feed in different geographies. They started their algae venture in 2007 with HR Biopetroleum and Shell. Cellana has plans of growing algae in ponds of seawater using strains of algae near other industrial sites that produce algae for the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries.

Pilot Efforts:

Cellana’s pilot plant in Hawaii grows marine algae and produce vegetable oil for conversion into biofuel. They grow only non-modified, marine microalgae, indigenous to Hawaii or approved by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

5.  Inventure Chemical Technology ( www.inventurechem.com )

This Washington based company unites life science and synthetic biology expertise with material process technologies to generate of renewable fuels such as algae fuels.

Pilot Efforts:

  • Inventure Chemical in joint venture with Seambiotic Ltd. constructed a pilot biofuel plant in Israel, using algae created from CO2 emissions as feedstock.
  • The plant will utilize high-yield oil-rich algae strains that Seambiotic has developed, coupled with Inventure’s patent-pending conversion processes to produce ethanol, biodiesel and other value-added chemicals.

6.Live Fuels (www.livefuels.com )

  • Live fuels is working on a integrated approach to growing, harvesting and processing algal biomass into fuels and other valuable co-products. They have a pilot plant at Brownsville, Texas and they are planning an expansion to full-scale commercial operations along the coast of Louisiana on a successful pilot efforts.

Pilot Efforts:

  • The pilot facility of about 45 acres of open saltwater ponds is used for research on optimizing algal productivity and increasing the rates of conversion of biomass into renewable oils.
  • LiveFuels is also conducting research on optimizing the productivity of natural aquatic ecosystems through biological and environmental means.

7.  Solix Biofuels (www.solixbiofuels.com )

The Solix technology is mainly designed to reuse the carbon dioxide that is produced by power plants, concrete plants, breweries and other industrial sites, all of which produce an excess of CO2.

Pilot efforts:

  • Solix is currently growing a naturally occurring species of microalgae at their pilot facility in Fort Collins, Colorado and at our Coyote Gulch demonstration facility in southwestern Colorado.
  • Solix’s facility is making as much as 2000 gallons on the same scale. The key to the efficiency is the modified photo-bioreactor, which enables algae to make use of more sun energy.

7. Origin oil (www.originoil.com )

This Los Angeles based company‘s stated objective is not to produce the algae oil itself but rather to develop and refine the technology and license it out to other companies.

Pilot Efforts:

  • OriginOil has commissioned its pilot facility at its Los Angeles headquarters. The company claims it now has an end-to-end algae-to-oil production facility.

(Feb, 2010).

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