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Shankar's Blog

Billions of gallons from diatoms

I read this Ramachandra - Gordon idea of milking the diatoms a few months back.
Now, Raja Murthy has written about their idea in Asia Times.

The paper originally published by
Ramachandra, TV and Mahapatra, Durga Madhab and Karthick, B and Gordon, Richard (2009) Milking Diatoms for Sustainable Energy: Biochemical Engineering versus Gasoline-Secreting Diatom Solar Panels. In: Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, 48 (19). pp. 8769-8788.

is available at

Looks like they are looking for funding to carry out research in a Canadian Univ.

Raja Murthy neednt have compared Exxon - Craing Ventor project to theirs. They are in two differnt fields.

This Gasoline secreting Diatom project sounds as interesting.

Just like a lot of manufacturing has shifted to China, it is time that a lot of Research shifts to India.

Wed July 14 2010 12:54:46 AM by Shankar 13 diatom

Method and Systems for Solar-Greenhouse Production and Harvesting of algae

I found the title too long to determine the concept of the patent. I didnt understand. That didnt bother me as I am only an investor.
However, I saw the following para 4 describing probably what the patent is all about.
To me, even this seems long winded.
I hope some one will simplify it or the Applicants of the patent if they are members of this august club, explain their patent.
" :(a) the growing of algae, said algae being of a size that is scientifically termed micro-algae and suspended in said bed in an aqueous, nutrient solution;(b) exposing portions of the algae to periods of light by spraying said portions into an air space above the bed containing a mixture of air at ambient pressure plus carbon dioxide in an amount of the order of 8 to 16% by volume, and to alternating periods of darkness resulting from the limited penetration of said light into the bed as determined by the depth of the bed and by the spraying of only portions of said algae suspension continuously or at repeated intervals;(c) conveying a flow of ambient air in said separate, solar exposed air space within said greenhouse and, thereby, absorbing solar energy not utilized in photosynthesis, and assisting in controlling the temperature of the enclosed air space and bed within the greenhouse so that both bed and atmosphere are preferably controlled to within a temperature range of 68 to 72 degrees F., which temperature range is generally considered optimum for growth of many algae specie;(d) controlling and varying the algae growth rate by varying the duration of exposure to solar energy of the contents of the spray, by means of varying the spraying quantity and duration, the spray forms, spray pattern or droplet size and, thereby, the surface area exposed to the solar energy and the period of time elapsed before all or a portion of the liquid falls by gravity back into the bed;(e) repeated algae spraying at varying frequency and quantity sprayed relative to the bed volume and depth so as to produce and control alternating periods of light and darkness to suit the growth needs of the algae;(f) mixing some or all of the carbon dioxide gas that is required for algae growth in the bed suspension by introducing it together with the spraying of the algae suspension (i.e., within or through the same spray nozzle);(g) limiting the air flow into and out of the greenhouse space containing the liquid and thereby minimizing the evaporation of water from sprayed droplets containing algae, and maintaining the relative humidity to greater than 80%."

Mon July 12 2010 11:47:48 AM by Shankar 4 patent application


The 4th annual Algae Biomass Summit will be held at the JW Marriott in Phoenix, AZ, September 28 ? 30th, 2010

Fri July 09 2010 03:02:49 AM by Shankar Algal biomass summit

Algae to oil company picked as a 10 bagger !! of the month !!

Pennystockpicks is a famous site for picking multi baggers.

They are considered the best bet for rags to riches.
From penny to millions.
Guess what !
They have picked this month an algae company

The article doesnt convince me. Most of the arguments given are old.

" OOGI, Odyssey Oil & Gas, Inc. A subsidiary of Odyssey, is currently operating in a joint venture with Xstrata Alloys, a subsidiary of Xstrata Plc (LSE: XTA), trading at $ 1,167.00 per share in London, XTA is the world's largest producer of Ferrochrome and OOGI's partner, in a project at one of Xstrata's Ferrochrome smelters, not far from the 2010 World Cup Soccer Games near Rustenburg in South Africa. The Joint Venture has set out to capture and sequestrate the carbon dioxide emissions, thereby creating carbon credits. The results have been no less than incredible.

OOGI has taken what was until recently only a concept, to an entirely new level, and that means a DOUBLE PLAY opportunity for OOGI shareholders. Not only is the company deeply involved in carbon sequestering but it's also involved in the algae to bio-fuel production. If you've been following the bio-fuel news you know this, in of itself, is huge! So huge in fact Exxon Mobil (OXN) is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in hope to be where Odyssey oil already is today "

More http://www.thepennystockpicks.com/our-10-bagger-pick-for-this-month-is-oogi/
Tue July 06 2010 07:15:49 AM by Shankar 1 algae  |  odyssey

Algenol's Woods discusses new DOE road map for algae-based fuel


Paul Woods, CEO of Algenol Biofuels, gives his take on the report and explains why he believes algae-based fuels could be available as early as 2011. He also explains how Algenol's strategy for making fuel is different from those of other algae-based companies.
Thu July 01 2010 09:31:53 PM by Shankar 2 Algenol

Reactions to DOE

The DOE's Road map, offers little guidance on what strategies hold the most promise to replace petroleum-derived fuels in the long term.

But it paints a picture of the extensive research that will be needed to do so. "The Roadmap Workshop effort suggests that many years of both basic and applied science and engineering will likely be needed to achieve affordable, scalable, and sustainable algal-based fuels,"

Al Darzins, a contributor to the report and group manager with the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, stressed in an interview that algae is far less developed, technologically, than biodiesel fuel or corn ethanol.

"We need to understand the biology much better before we have, in the future, systems that work consistently," Darzins said.

He pointed to the need for work on robust strains of algae and genetically enhanced strains to optimize qualities useful in fuel production, as well as in devising growth systems like open ponds or closed containers that will allow for inexpensive algae "farming."

"One thing that comes across loud and clear [in the report] ... is that the path to algal biofuels commercialization will not be totally dependent on any one unit operation or technology but rather on the industry's ability to string together or 'integrate' robust and scalable technology solutions into an entire process (i.e., soup to nuts) that makes sense from a sustainability, policy and cost perspective," he said.

Darzins said researchers are working on building comprehensive life-cycle models of algae fuel production that can be customized for economic analyses on various approaches. Once those models are available, he said, they will help scientists focus on the most difficult and expensive parts of the process in search of ways to have the largest and most immediate impact on the overall economics of fuel production.

One of the most promising characteristics of algae-based biofuels is the potential to create "drop-in" fuels that would work seamlessly with the existing transportation infrastructure -- unlike ethanol, which cannot be transported in gasoline pipelines or used at full concentration in conventional engines.

Thu July 01 2010 09:23:19 PM by Shankar 2 nytimes  |  DOE  |  roadmap

Department of Energy Announces $24 Million for Algal Biofuels Research

The U.S. Department of Energy announced today the investment of up to $24 million for three research groups to tackle key hurdles in the commercialization of algae-based biofuels. The selections will support the development of a clean, sustainable transportation sector - a goal of the Department's continued effort to spur the creation of the domestic bio-industry while creating jobs. Developing cost-effective renewable transportation fuels is a key component of the Administration's strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions and move the Nation toward energy independence.

"Partnerships such as these focus the creative powers of the public, private, and academic sectors on key challenges facing the development of renewable energy for transportation," said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cathy Zoi. "The United States must find effective ways to hasten the development of technologies for advanced biofuels made from algae and other renewable resources to reduce our need for foreign sources of oil." Zoi made the announcement while speaking today at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) 2010 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing.

The consortia consist of partners from academia, national laboratories, and private industries that are based across the country, broadening the geographic range and technical expertise of DOE partners in the area of algal biofuels. Projects are expected to continue for a period of three years. Together, they represent a diversified portfolio that will help accelerate algal biofuels development with the objective of significantly increasing production of affordable, high-quality algal biofuels that are environmentally and economically sustainable.

The three consortia selected for funding are:

Sustainable Algal Biofuels Consortium (Mesa, AZ) - Led by Arizona State University, this consortium will focus on testing the acceptability of algal biofuels as replacements for petroleum-based fuels. Tasks include investigating biochemical conversion of algae to fuels and products, and analyzing physical chemistry properties of algal fuels and fuel intermediates. (DOE share: up to $6 million)

Consortium for Algal Biofuels Commercialization (San Diego, CA) - Led by the University of California, San Diego, this consortium will concentrate on developing algae as a robust biofuels feedstock. Tasks include investigating new approaches for algal crop protection, algal nutrient utilization and recycling, and developing genetic tools. (DOE funding: up to $9 million)

Cellana, LLC Consortium (Kailua-Kona, HI) - Led by Cellana, LLC, this consortium will examine large-scale production of fuels and feed from microalgae grown in seawater. Tasks include integrating new algal harvesting technologies with pilot-scale cultivation test beds, and developing marine microalgae as animal feed for the aquaculture industry. (DOE funding: up to $9 million)

National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap

Despite algae's potential, many technical and economic challenges must be overcome for algal biofuels to be commercialized. To identify these hurdles and guide research and development activities, DOE convened the National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap Workshop, bringing together more than 200 experts and stakeholders from across the country. The Department synthesized workshop results and released a draft report for public comment in June 2009. The final National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap released today reflects the substantive comments received and is intended to guide future work and investments in algal biofuels. Under the Recovery Act, the Department awarded funding earlier this year to an algal research consortium to tackle a broad range of barriers identified in the roadmap report.

View a copy of the National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap (PDF - 7.45MB). Additional information on algal biofuels is available on the Department's Biomass Program website.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy
Wed June 30 2010 02:55:12 AM by Shankar DOE  |  algae to biofuel  |  research

Biofuels Digest Index recovers 2.52 percent on algae, oil comebacks

The Biofuels Digest Index? (BDI), a basket of public biofuels stocks, recovered 2.52 percent to 58.92 on a strong comeback in algae and oil stocks. For the day, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) gained 1.85 percent to $25.39, while BP rebounded 12.26 percent to $32.78. Among smaller caps, PetroAlgae (PALG.OB) regained 145.90 percent to $15.00 after a sharp drop on light trading earlier in the week. Overall, advances led declines 6 to 1 for the day.

Tue June 22 2010 03:14:30 AM by Shankar 39 algae oil stocks

Bioplastics - another end product

Scientists at Pittsburg State University are getting $2 million in federal money to conduct groundbreaking research of algae.

The money will be distributed to the university's Kansas Polymer Research Center over three years beginning in September.

Pittsburg State says researchers will try to find better ways to create polymers from oil produced by algae.

The polymers can be used to create environmentally friendly products such as floor tiles or foam seats for chairs.

The university says the Kansas Polymer Research Center already has received national attention for its work converting bio-based materials, such as vegetable and soybean oil, into products made and distributed by industry partners.

Tue June 22 2010 03:05:35 AM by Shankar 2 Bioplastics PIttsburg univ

Are there others interested / involved in bio plastics from algae !!

Cereplast and Algenol are sitting pretty.
Are there other entrepreuners wanting to grow fast ?
If the Cereplast factory is going to smell like a fish processing industry, will the finals products ie
Plastic plates, plastic materials etc will also smell like fish ?
That will then be a major constraint.
By 2020, the bioplastics industry could be worth $20bn [?16bn]

More about Bio plastics, cereplast, Dupont, algenol, etc
Sat June 19 2010 04:14:29 AM by Shankar 7 bioplastics