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Shankar's Blog

An interesting business proposition, that augurs well !

Here is someone , (I have no idea who it is), has posted a proposition to do with making 60,000 Tonnes of  biodiesel from algae and to make sponge iron.
If these kinds of ads are the shape of things to come, it is good news for the algae to oil industry.
" We are seeking investor (Joint Venture) to manufacture biodiesel (and oil) from algae, the feed of this algae is the gas named CO2 in elevated quantities (thousands of tons) so it is needed to invest in a sponge iron (direct reduced iron DRI) plant, to obtain CO2 at low cost (and have secured this concentrated CO2 gas for the biodiesel and oil plant), both businesses are good, sponge iron DRI and algae, and both help to diversify your investment in two different sectors. Minimum investment is 250 millions dollars (to produce 60.000 tons of biodiesel per year, and 500.000 tons of sponge iron DRI), however larger investment is possible as the market can absorb enourmous quantities of biodiesel, oils and sponge iron (raw steel), if interested please contact us, we have contact with turnkey plant manufacturers for both the algae plant and for the sponge iron plant. We have at least two turnkey algae plant makers with productive real algae plants to see the process and verify their success. "
Let me again make it clear that I dont know who the promoters are and what their know how is etc. 
I just saw the relevance and am impressed with the way the industry is going.

Wed October 06 2010 01:06:36 PM by Shankar 1 algae to biofuel  |  joint venture  |  venture funding  |  CO2


Phyco will own a 15% interest in each joint venture project and generate corporate salesrevenue by supplying system assemply components, installation supervision, biological andaquacultural support, and services including the Phyco Super Trough Production System and patentpending concentration and harvesting technologies. 

China Biological Engineering Limited has alsopurchased an 18% equity stake in Phyco BioSciences, Inc.

Phyco?s Super Trough System has been selected by China Biological EngineeringLimited to license the production technology in the Peoples Republic of China, beginning inNovember 2010.

 ? Phyco BioSciences, Inc., announces an agreementwith Hong Kong based China Biological Engineering, Limited to develop two projects in the PeoplesRepublic of China beginning this Fall.

 The first project is a joint venture in JaingShu Provincecomprised of 40 algal production acres supported by a cultivar laboratory, an inoculation module andharvest technologies. 

The second joint venture project, located in DongYing Province is initiallyscaled at 10 acres . Assuming production milestones are achieved, both projects are expected toexpand to 160 acres in 2011-2012, for a total of 320 acres.

China Biological Engineering Limited is the exclusive Licensee of Phyco?s Super TroughTechnology in China. According to Ben Cloud, CEO of Phyco BioSciences, ?we see this as apartnership and a co-development effort with China Biological Engineering Limited providing bothentities with a very large upside potential. 

There are some unique challenges to the locations inChina, compared to the deserts of Arizona, such as a rainy season and cold winters.

 This will requireus to use a solar cover for much of the year. However, it is what our system was designed to do.?According to Eric Tso, CEO of China Biological Engineering Limited, ?Phyco?s Super TroughSystem provides excellent control over the algae culture for opimum yields.

 In addition, the system ishighly scalable and economical. We are using these initial installations for further research anddevelopment to support expansion in each Province.?China Biological Engineering, Limited is cooperating with the Chinese Institute of Science inQuaingdou to provide algal cultivars that are suitable to the seasons in the two growing areas. Algaewill be grown with a combination of fresh and ocean water in varying ratios according to therequirements of the algal cultivars grown. Algal biomass produced
Sat September 25 2010 07:28:42 AM by Shankar 3 phyco biosciences  |  china biological engineering  |  cbe  |  phycobiosciences

Capital chases biofuels ??

" Companies are using proprietary technology that takes inputs as diverse as algae, willow trees and sugar cane to produce oils and biomaterials in standard fermentation facilities quickly, cleanly, inexpensively and on a large scale."
says Hilllary Kramer in his blog in Forbes.
Hillary goes on " There?s a new wave of capitalists with a conscience at the helm of tomorrow?s green energy revolution.  These entrepreneurs are trailblazing into areas of clean technology that will ultimately be integral and fundamental aspects of the plastics, chemicals and fuel industries. These promising, clean and cost-efficient new areas of growth are known as the bioproduct and biofuel markets."
There isnt much about algae companies in the blog and for those interested in reading furtherhttp://blogs.forbes.com/greatspeculations/2010/09/24/cunnicapitalists-go-blazing-into-biofuels/?boxes=Homepagechannels
The article I thought is well structured and not well thought out. Pretty sketchy.
Sat September 25 2010 04:22:09 AM by Shankar Hillary Kramer  |  forbes

Algae fermentation facility acquired by Alltech from Martek

Alltech, a global leader in natural animal nutrition based in Nicholasville, Ky., announced  that it has acquired a state-of-the-art algae fermentation facility in Winchester, Ky., from Martek Bioscience Corp. for approximately $14 million.

"For Alltech, algae fermentation presents our latest technological platform from which we expect incredible opportunities in the areas of food, feed and fuel to arise," said Alltech founder and president Dr. Pearse Lyons.

 "As with virtually all facilities we acquire, we expect to start an expansion phase here inWinchester within the next 18 months."

The purchase price will be paid over four years and will include the majority of the assets on the 23-acre site.

 The site will be renamed Alltech Winchester and will represent a further increase of more than 1 million liters of fermentation capacity for the company and become its fifth primary production site in North America and 10th globally.

 Alltech also has 24 further production sites that tailor its products for its 120 local markets.

Martek said the transaction does not include the sale of, license of or granting of any rights to any of Martek's strains, patents or any other technologies. It also does not permit the use of the Winchester assets to produce omega-3 and/or omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids for human use for a period of 10 years.

Martek said the sale is consistent with its previously announced plans to restructure its Winchester manufacturing facilities in an effort to streamline operations, improve capacity utilization and reduce manufacturing costs and operating expenses.

Sat September 25 2010 03:14:58 AM by Shankar 2 Alltech  |  Martek  |  omega-3

Best quarter since Q3 2008 : VC funding in usa for Cleantech !

The focus on later stage investments this quarter is reflected in the fact that the top 10 deals alone amounted to $993 million, two thirds of total investment. 
The biofuels segment  received significant VC investments in Q2 2010 with $265.7 million, an increase of 517.2% compared to the same period last year.

Automotive, solar and biofuels were the main focus of the top deals. The top 10 deals also included two large second rounds.

US venture capital (VC) investment in cleantech companies in Q2 2010 hit $1.5 billion in 68 financing rounds, a 63.8% increase in capital and an 4.6% increase in deals compared to Q2 2009, according to an Ernst & Young LLP analysis based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource. This was the highest level of venture funding for cleantech since Q3 2008.


Thu September 23 2010 01:56:29 PM by Shankar biofuels  |  VC funding  |  biofuels vc funding  |  biofuels venture funding

Monique Berry of Biocentric Holdings provides shareholder updates

SANTA ANA, Calif., Sept. 15, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BioCentric Energy Holdings, Inc. (Pink Sheets:BEHL) President Monique Berry provided the following shareholder update: 
Ms. Berry stated, "BioCentric Energy and BioCen (Pink Sheets:BNPD) are finalizing their negotiations this week for the acquisition of all BEHL assets. The assets include, but are not limited to, BEHL's intellectual property, all components, equipment, inventory, PBR systems and client contracts. The Companies both agree for BEHL to maintain its position as a public company. Furthermore the parties agree that BEHL will be the exclusive assembly and installation division for BNPD and will profit from a cost plus 20% contract share ratio. BEHL shareholders can preserve their shares and will receive 1 BNPD unrestricted free trading share for every 10 BEHL shares owned as of the record date to be announced shortly. The executive team and board positions are currently being defined and contracts are being negotiated. The Companies anticipate finalizing and announcing these positions early next week."
Dennis Fisher, Chairman of the Board for BEHL, stated today, "I have agreed to be a returning guest on Market Playground with Demian Russian to answer all questions compiled through his internet blog.  I appreciate Demian taking the time to allow us to communicate through his forum."

Ms. Berry further commented, "The BEHL technical team is providing daily updates and pictures of their progress as they deploy the Company's first commercial PBR systems in Death Valley Junction this week.  Once the deployment is complete, the team will transport approximately 1,000 gallons of Haematococcus that will be inoculated into the system.  The anticipated date for inoculation in Death Valley Junction is October 5th, 2010."
For several months now, the Company has been testing a proprietary algae strain in its large commercial demo PBR system located in Santa Ana, California. 
The tests are now complete and the Company is very pleased with the results and high growth rate of the algae in its PBR system. The team has decided to replace the plastic tubes in lieu of cleaning and flushing to reduce any risk of contaminating prior to inoculating the system with the highly valuable Haematococcus.

The BioCentric Energy Holdings, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7468
Tue September 21 2010 09:39:00 PM by Shankar biocen  |  biocentric energy holdings  |  Monique Berry

Repsol acquires 20% stake in Algae Energy

Repsol has acquired a 20% stake in AlgaEnergy, a leading R & D company in microalgae research. This complements and strengthens Repsol's research program for the production of next generation biofuels from algae.
Repsol's acquisition  of a stake in AlgaEnergy accelerates and diversifies Repsol's R & D strategy.

 Repsol will  continue to develop alternative research projects in this field.

Repsol's 20% stake in AlgaEnergy was carried out by the Repsol New Energy unit. The company acquired 10% through a capital increase and the remaining 10% through direct purchase from AlgaEnergy's co-founder, Augusto Rodriguez-Villa. 

Repsol will actively cooperate with the company as a technology partner and will have two representatives on the Board of Directors. 

Last April, Repsol created a business unit for new energy, Repsol New Energy, which aims to identify opportunities, promote projects and develop initiatives in bioenergy and renewable energy for transport, and other areas that can provide synergies with the company's ongoing business in the areas where the Repsol operates.

Repsol is currently developing several R & D projects for the use of microalgae as a source of production for advanced biofuels. 
more http://www.fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&country=0&special=&monthyear=&day=&id=37942&ndb=1&df=0
Wed September 08 2010 01:37:39 PM by Shankar 2 Algae energy  |  Repsol  |  research program  | 

Uniliver to invest in algae !!

As food and consumer-goods companies face problems obtaining the key ingredient palm oil without damaging the environment, Unilever is betting on a promising low-life alternative: algae. 

London-based Unilever, which relies on palm oil to make Dove soap, Vaseline lotion and Magnum ice cream, is set to announce Wednesday that it has made a multimillion-dollar investment in Solazyme Inc., a South San Francisco, Calif., company that harvests algal oil, a liquid that can replace palm oil in foods, soaps and lotions and serve as biodiesel fuel to power airplanes.

In case you have forgotten about the agreement Uniliver signed up with Solazyme recently pl read
Many of you may even remember that the Japanese food giant called San-ei Gen has participated in the recent $ 54 m Vc funding to Solazyme as a strategic partner.

Unilever's investment comes as big food companies are under pressure from environmentalists ...http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703720004575477531661393258.html
Wed September 08 2010 12:09:24 PM by Shankar 15 japanese food giant  |  food companies and algae  |  algae  |  solazyme  |  uniliver

Craig Venter's methods

I just read a Newyork times article and I thought why shouldnt you guys also take a look at it.Its about Dr Craig Venter, of SGI and am sure all of you want to hear more about the progress made by him for Exxon Mobil.This article is more about him.
Dr. Venter, now 63, made his name as a gene hunter. He was co-founder of a company, Celera Genomics, that nearly left the federally funded Human Genome Project in the dust in the race to determine the complete sequence of DNA in human chromosomes.
 He garnered admiration for some path-breaking ideas but also the enmity of some scientific rivals who viewed him as a publicity seeker who was polluting a scientific endeavor with commercialism.

Now Dr. Venter is turning from reading the genetic code to an even more audacious goal: writing it. At Synthetic Genomics, he wants to create living creatures ? bacteria, algae or even plants ? that are designed from the DNA up to carry out industrial tasks and displace the fuels and chemicals that are now made from fossil fuels.

'Designing and building synthetic cells will be the basis of a new industrial revolution,' Dr. Venter says. The goal is to replace the entire petrochemical industry.

His star power has attracted $110 million in investment so far, in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars in research financing, making Synthetic Genomics among the wealthiest companies in the new field known as synthetic biology.

 'If you think of an iconic, Steve Jobs character in the life sciences field, he comes to mind,' says Steve Jurvetson of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which invested in Synthetic Genomics.

But the path is long, with no guarantee of success. And as with DNA sequencing, Dr. Venter is stirring some unease in the synthetic biology field. Some competitors say designing entire cells is too far-fetched and that less flashy companies are ahead of Synthetic Genomics.

'I don?t know how many decades his funders have given him,' says Jay Keasling, co-founder of Amyris Inc., which is trying to produce biofuels and a malaria drug by modifying existing organisms, not by creating entirely new ones.

Moreover, Dr. Venter's track record as a businessman is mixed. While Celera succeeded in sequencing the human genome, it failed to make a business of selling the genomic data, and Dr. Venter was fired by the president of Celera?s parent company, with whom he had had many disagreements.

What really drives him, Dr. Venter and those close to him say, is the desire for scientific accomplishments, publications and recognition, and for the Nobel Prize that still eludes him. Business is just a means to a scientific end.

'Craig is just a hopeless businessman,' Alan G. Walton, a venture capitalist and a friend of Dr. Venter, says only half-jokingly.

Yet Dr. Venter has a history of defying skeptics, and many people are betting that he will succeed this time as well. Dr. Walton, in fact, invested personally in Synthetic Genomics, and his venture firm, Oxford Bioscience Partners, recently wanted to sink a hefty sum into the company but was turned down when Dr. Venter found other investors offering better terms.

Exxon Mobil is giving Synthetic Genomics $300 million in research financing to design algae that could be used to produce gasoline and diesel fuel. (The new greenhouse will be used for that research.)

BP has invested in the company itself, turning to Synthetic Genomics to study microbes that might help turn coal deposits into cleaner-burning natural gas. Another investor, the Malaysian conglomerate Genting, wants to improve oil output from its palm tree plantations, working toward what its chief executive calls a  gasoline tree.

And in a deal expected to be announced this week, the pharmaceutical giant Novartis will work with Dr. Venter to synthesize influenza virus strains as a potentially faster way to make flu vaccines.

Synthetic Genomics is also exploring the use of algae to produce food oils and, possibly, other edible products.

Dr. Venter muses, "What if we can make algae taste like beef?"

SCIENTISTS have long been able to insert foreign genes into organisms. Human insulin is manufactured for diabetics by bacteria containing the human insulin gene. Bacterial genes are put into corn plants to give them resistance to herbicides and insects.

But until now, genetic engineering has been mainly a process of cutting and pasting a gene from one organism to another. Only one or a few genes are spliced into a cell, and considerable trial and error is required before a gene functions properly in its new host.

Synthetic biology aims to allow more extensive changes, and in a more efficient and predictable way. That would make engineering a cell more like designing a bridge or a computer chip, enabling biologists to put prefabricated components together in different combinations.

Tue September 07 2010 05:15:35 AM by Shankar 9 Craig venter  |  exxon mobile  |  sgi

Way to go !

They are starting with algae nutra and algae pharma and they have all other products including commodity products like bio plastics and biodiesel  in their plans.My opinion WAY TO GO !
Wed September 01 2010 11:45:08 PM by Shankar algaebio