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Photon8 Aims @ $1.25 /Gallon Algae Fuels Using Photobioreactors

January 19th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in Algae-Energy-Companies

Photon8, a Texas based algae fuel company claims that they have devised a business model which would be produce biodiesel  at $1.25 per US gallon.

Photon8 grow their algae in closed systems – photobioreactor with a production rate equal to 1.5 gal/square meter/year. They expect to produce 22,000 gal per 2.5 acre/yr then to best economic units of 5 acres. It believes further development may bring it close to 10,000 gal/acre/yr as a basis for planning large production systems.”

Some updates from Photon8 (January 2010 – September 2010) are as follows:

Photon8 Inc.,in partnership with The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas South most College, received a $1 million grant from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.  . The company will use the award to genetically enhance the performance of the algae and advance its extraction technology. (January 2010)

An interesting technology by name Traveling Wave Tube technology from Photon8 can boost algae growth by 500 percent, representing a major advance in the profitable conversion of algae to biofuel. This technology promises to cut costs further by dispensing with limits normally imposed on algae-to-biofuel production during “degassing” and the addition of carbon to the algae. In a nutshell, algae “broth” is exposed to sunlight in order to produce oily “lipids” — the more the better. The lipids are harvested for biodiesel production. (May 2010)

Photon8, Inc has announced that it has succeeded in producing “drop-in” fuel components from its “genetically improved” algae.. They claim that they have achieved the productivity of 5600 gal/acre/year, and most importantly, within our confines of under $10/m2, leading to a cost of jet fuel components of less than $1.50/gallon.”Photon8 claims their new processing methods render hydrocarbons identical to those of conventional fuels, eliminating the need for blending (October 2010)

Photon8 has achieved profitable production with a “parallel film reactor” growth and extraction system that costs $10 per square meter and $1.25 to produce a gallon of ethanol. ( September 2010)

Interesting link regarding Photon’s Techno-Economic Model – In Photon8’s case, understanding the market forces for a $1/gallon biodiesel, the 10,000 gallon/acre/year physics limit, and the early-on determination of the requirement for less than $10/m2 capex were fundamental elements in its arriving at its combined technical and business model. –http://bit.ly/9ecmGK

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