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DOE Announces $36M in Advanced Biofuels & Chemicals Funding

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced this month $36 million in federal grants to fund six small-scale projects in five states designed to produce drop-in advanced biofuels and other bio-based chemicals. Each project’s goal is to improve the economics and efficiency of converting non-food biomass feedstocks into biofuels, bioproducts and biochemicals.
“Projects such as these are helping us to diversify our energy portfolio and decrease our dependence on foreign oil,” said Secretary Chu. “Together with our partners, the Department is working hard to expand the clean energy economy, creating jobs in America and providing sustainable replacements for the fuels and products now provided primarily by petroleum.”
According to Chu, the new round of funding will help diversify DOE’s Biomass Program portfolio to include a breadth of fuels and chemicals beyond cellulosic ethanol. The secondary goal is to ensure that the Department’s research and development on biofuels remains integrated and strategic.
The following projects were selected:
− General Atomics: San Diego, California who was awarded up to $2 million
− Genomatica, Inc., San Diego, California, who was awarded up to $5 million
− Michigan Biotechnology Institute, Lansing, Michigan, who was awarded up to $4.3 million
− HCL CleanTech, Inc., Oxford, North Carolina, who was awarded up to $9 million
− Texas Engineering Experiment Station, College Station, Texas, who was awarded up to $2.3 million
− Virent, Madison, Wisconsin, who was awarded up to $13.4 million
Sat June 25 2011 06:24:44 PM by Abomohra


Hi everyone,

A New Year

A New Challenge

A New Goal

A New Optimism

A New Approach

A New Mission

A New Resolution

Wishing you a very


Sincerely Yours,
Abd El-Fatah Ibrahim Abo-Mohra,
Current address:
Biozentrum Klein Flottbek
Zellbiologie und Phykologie (AG. Prof. Hanelt)
Ohnhorststr. 18
D-22609 Hamburg
Web page: http://www.algdiesel.blogspot.com/
E-mails: abomohra@yahoo.com; abomohra@daad-alumni.de; abomohra@botanik.uni-hamburg.de
Sat January 01 2011 11:01:41 AM by Abomohra 9

MSU: Major scientific breakthrough in algae biofuel

Last summer, a team of
Montana State University researchers made a scientific breakthrough
that has eluded scientists for decades. It's a discovery that makes
algae a much more viable source of biofuel.

and industry have been making biofuels for a long time, from things
like corn oil, soybean oil, and algae oil. It's always been difficult
to make a biofuel as economical as a conventional crude oil. The price
of crude oil usually has to be a very high cost per barrel before it's
really feasible. But the MSU Algal Biofuels group is making that a
little more competitive. The team found a way to get four times as much
biofuel from a given amount of algae.

grad student Rob Gardner has been investigating what we did 20 years
ago," said MSU Research Professor Emeritus in Microbiology Keith

notion Gardner explored was adding baking soda to the algae. It's a
concentrated source of carbon dioxide which plants use to grow. Dr.
Cooksey tried the same thing in the 90's but said he "missed the
timing." That's what Gardner found after a year and a half of research:
the exact right point in the growing process to add that baking soda.

"It doubles the rate of production of oil," Cooksey said.

Not only does the process double the amount of oil that can be squeezed
from the algae, it grows the algae in half time--getting producing
four times as much fuel.

"It was a happy day," Gardner said about the day of the discovery. "We
fought this for a long time and trial and error and finally we stumbled
across the right answer.

And I guess that happens a lot in science, but that was a really good day."

university has been busy the last few months applying for a patent on
the method and is now searching for someone to license it.

The research team says the discovery makes algae potentially the most efficient biofuel crop.

75, researched algal biofuel 20 years ago and published more than 40
papers in the general area, but said the government eventually lost
interest and withdrew its funding. The trend has reversed itself,
however, and the field is exploding. Cooksey doesn't think the interest
will disappear this time because some of the biggest energy users in
the world -- members of the defense and commercial airline industries
-- have thrown their support behind pursuing the idea.

Cooksey is now in demand for his expertise, but he is still miffed about the lost years. "It's
great, but it's frustrating," Cooksey said. "Why the hell didn't we do
this 20 years ago, because we would be where we'd like to be by now."

More about Biodiesel news Click here
Fri December 03 2010 01:26:23 PM by Abomohra 2

Company Debuts Biodiesel Hybrid Wind Turbine

A Colorado-based wind
turbine company believes it has the solution when winds are not enough
to generate electricty: team the turbine up with clean-burning

Smartplanet.com says Hybrid Turbines Inc.?s
SmartGen system will use biogas, biodiesel and natural gas to run a
back-up power generation system fuel the back-up power system that will
operate during the 70 percent of time when the winds don?t get the job

would of course depend on the patent-pending design working and being
installed throughout the country?s wind farms. According to Hybrid
Turbines, the SmartGen system can be retrofitted for existing turbines,
scaled between 3 and 100 kilowatts (possibly higher), and integrated
into new turbine designs.A
turbo-compressor [right] located at the base of the turbine?s tower
draws in ambient air, compresses it and stores it in a tank. When winds
are calm, the compressed air travels skyward to the turbo-air motor*
connected to the electric generator.

Nick Verini, president of Hybrid Turbines Inc., says in a statement:If
a biofuel is used then the SmartGen? system is 100% renewable energy
based (wind and/or biofuel). Even if natural gas is used the
electricity produced by SmartGen? is twice as environmentally clean as
burning coal. This will be increasingly important as we move to
electric vehicles with batteries charged from the grid.Estimates are that wind power generation capacity would increase by 25 GW, the equivalent of 25 1,000 MW nuclear power plants.
Thu September 02 2010 02:02:35 PM by Abomohra 2

Micro-algae production of sustainable biofuel coming

Two researchers say
producing sustainable and economically viable biodiesel from
micro-algae on a large scale will be feasible within 10-15 years.
Technological innovations in this timeframe are expected to enlarge the
scale of production threefold and cut production costs by 90 per cent.

Professor Ren? Wijffels and Dr Maria Barbosa from Wageningen UR (University & Research Centre) published their article in Friday?s Science, where they thoroughly explain how to reach the biodiesel goal.

wrote that Europe should be able to become sustainably independent of
fossil fuels and even generate sustainably sourced food by producing
microscopically small algae in bulk in large-scale installations. The
cultivation of algae could be done by extracting fertilisers (nitrogen
and phosphates) from manure surpluses and wastewater, and CO2 would
come from industrial remains.

feeds algae, sustainably breeding biodiesel and almost limitless
protein and oxygen. And because seawater can be used, fresh water use
would be minimal.

and Barbosa describe how based on calculations on energy consumption
in transport in Europe, nearly 0.4 billion m3 biodiesel would be
required to substitute all transport fuels. Micro-algae cultivation
takes 9.25 million ha of land assuming a yield of 40,000 l of biodiesel
per ha.

beat agricultural crops like oilseed rape at converting sunlight and
fertilisers into usable oily compounds, as full sunshine is not needed.
It is thus possible to produce 20-80,000 l of oil per ha versus 1 ha
of oilseed rape or oil palm generates only 1500 or 6000 l,

For more details Click here
Tue August 31 2010 03:31:26 PM by Abomohra

food vs. fuel debate was overblown

World Bank recently released a report reversing claims that
wrongly faulted biofuels for food price increases.   
the first commercially available advanced biofuel available in
the U.S., biodiesel plays an important role to cut greenhouse gas
emissions and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.  Attempts to
perpetuate a myth of food versus fuel are invalidated as World
Bank identifies energy costs as the true price driver," said
National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe 

recent report, "Placing the 2006/08 Commodity Price Boom into
Perspective," drastically reduces estimates of biofuels impact on
commodity prices.  World Bank economists now say that initial
estimates were too high and note, "This paper concludes that a
stronger link between energy and non-energy commodity prices is likely
to be the dominant influence on developments in commodity, and
especially food, markets."  The report also points out that
biofuels only account for about 1.5 percent of global grains and
oilseeds use.  

price inflation of 2008 was all about energy price inflation and
the oil shock - which is what biofuels aim to address by reducing
our reliance on crude oil as the nation's nearly singular source
of transportation fuel.  Since the initial study was the basis of
opponent's claims, the new report deflates the hot air behind the
tired food v fuel debate and reinforces that biodiesel provides a
renewable alternative to petroleum without negatively impacting
food markets," Jobe said. 

Real facts about biodiesel are often overlooked. Consider:   
  • In
    2008 the global economy saw significant food price inflation
    which corresponded with an oil shock that saw oil more than
    double in 12 months to $147/bbl.  From April 2008 to
    September 2008, oil then dropped from $147/bbl to $33/bbl.
    Predictably food prices eventually followed.  Since then,
    global biofuels volumes have steadily increased yet food
    prices have stayed moderated.  
  • Biodiesel
    made from soybean oil creates a new market for soybean oil,
    which is coproduced when a bean is ground for its 80 percent
    meal.  This increases the total bean value and makes the meal
    portion more cost competitive for protein markets, which has
    a net positive impact on the food supply.
  • Biodiesel
    is the most diverse fuel on the planet, made from a wide
    variety of regionally abundant by-products of crop and
    livestock production.  Biodiesel has the highest fossil
    energy balance of any domestic fuel, has the highest energy
    content of any alternative fuel, and offers the best
    greenhouse gas reduction of any domestic liquid transportation fuel.
Original article at biodiesel.org
Fri August 27 2010 10:16:41 AM by Abomohra 8

One man's waste is another man's treasure.

Since November, Dalton Utilities has been running a pilot project at its land application system (LAS) along the Conasauga River that could improve wastewater treatment and extend the life of the LAS, while creating biodiesel and possibly methane gas as well.

?The primary focus is extending the life of the land application system,? said Mike Jolley, Dalton Utilities? senior vice president for new business development and special projects. ?But it?s really a win-win situation. We extend the life of our land application system, but we also get biodiesel which can reduce our fuel costs.?

At the LAS, Dalton Utilities sprays treated wastewater on the land, which acts as a secondary filter by removing additional chemicals before it drains into the Conasauga.

One of the chemicals the land removes is phosphorous, and eventually the land will become saturated with phosphorous. At that point, it would simply drain into the river.

So about two and a half years ago, the utility started working with the University of Georgia to find ways to grow algae in the wastewater to remove the phosphorus.

?We are harvesting algae once a week and getting about 1,000 pounds (each time). We are working with the University of Georgia to optimize the process,? Jolley said. ?We want to optimize the amount of phosphorus we remove as well as produce the most biomass we can. We are making progress, but we aren?t there yet.?

A study conducted 10 years ago indicated the LAS had about a 20-year life span when it comes to phosphorus, but officials say the local floorcovering industry has taken steps that greatly reduce the amount of the chemical it sends downstream to Dalton Utilities. In addition, the current recession has cut industry?s water and wastewater use.

Extending the life of the LAS is the top goal, but Dalton Utilities officials say that a big side benefit is that algae can be used to make biodiesel. Jolley says an acre of algae can produce about 2,000 gallons of biodiesel, while an acre of soybeans can produce only about 75 gallons of biodiesel

?We are not actively producing biodiesel because we are not at the point where we want to actively focus on that,? said Mark Marlowe, Dalton Utilities? vice president of water and wastewater engineering. ?We know we can make biodiesel from the algae already, so there?s no reason to make it until we are ready.?

Officials say the pilot project will continue for another six to 12 months. During that period they are working with the University of Georgia to tweak it to produce the most algae. They are also working with the university to find even more products they can create from the algae.

Marlowe says methane gas is one possibility, as is fertilizer.

?Phosphorous is in limited supply long term, and we use a lot of it every year in agriculture. There is increasing interest across the wastewater industry in recovering phosphorus for fertilizer because it will be a valuable resource in the future,? he said.

Marlowe says the pilot project has cost between $150,000 to $250,000, and the utility has applied for a $100,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to fund more testing. Marlowe said that, to his knowledge, Dalton Utilities is the only utility in the nation with a pilot project like this.

After the pilot project is over, officials plan to build a full-scale facility. Marlowe says he isn?t sure yet how much that will cost. But officials say they hope to produce about 250,000 gallons of biodiesel annually, enough to fuel the company?s fleet.
Mon August 09 2010 09:22:26 AM by Abomohra 4

Do you have doubt that algal biodiesel is more clean??

The Berlin Air Show, which was held on 8-13 June, was the perfect opportunity for aircraft company EADS to show just how far its biofuels research has progressed.

A Diamond DA42 took to the air powered only by algae biofuel.

Jean Botti, CTO at EADS, said: ?This opens up the feasibility of carbon-neutral flights.?

According to EADS minimal adjustments had to be made to the four-seater aircraft for it to fly on biofuels but the modifications were worth it as the algae biofuel contained eight times less hydrocarbons than regular kerosene and has been found to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 40%.

Now, what's your openion?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best Regards
Sun June 20 2010 03:01:25 PM by Abomohra 3

Giant Inflatable Airship Powered by Algae

The future is better with algae :-)

This summer, piloted by Captain Allan Judd, Bullet 580 will usher in the return of inflatable giant airships. The 235 ft long and 65ft diameter ship is covered with a type of Kevlar, a material 10 times-stronger than steel but only one sixteenth of an inch thick. An E-green design special costing ?5.5million, this giant runs on algae ? latest bio-fuel that can be developed from brackish and waste water.

With seven-bag helium providing the lift, maximum speed of 80 mph, Bullet 580 cruises at 35 mph and is capable of carrying loads of 2,000lbs up to 20,000ft in the air. It can take-off vertically up and land vertically as well. The unique feature is that this airship can hover over an area for up to 7 days continuously ? which gives it an edge as an aerial watch dog.

Mike Lawson, Chief Executive of E-Green Technologies, test-inflated this airship at Garret Coliseum in Alabama, and is confident that airships will have a great future. He hopes to utilize these airships for uses as diverse as sightseeing, carrying heavy loads, as near-space satellite for broadcasting communications, weather watch, and geophysical surveying and monitoring any untoward events like oil spills etc.

Emphasizing the differences between the traditional blimps/Zeppelins, Mr. Lawson spoke of the benefits of the bio-fuel, algae and the special water condensate recovery system for fuel economy and the simple construction combined with futuristic technology.

E-Green Technologies after merging with 21st Century Airships has already built 14 model planes and flown them and plans are on the anvil to build a fleet of airships that can fetch ?200,000 and ?550,000 as rent. These can be managed with a crew or flown remotely. Bullet 580 is the first commercial plane to be launched.

Very soon, sightseeing from on-board the Bullet 580 may be the in thing for future foot-loose and fancy-free travelers!

To watch the video follow this link :
Thu June 03 2010 12:28:00 PM by Abomohra

Glycos Biotechnologies? SAB Chairman Presented Award for Research Converting Glycerine
into High Value Products

Glycos Biotechnologies, Inc. (GlycosBio), a metabolic engineering innovator in biologically converting non-sugar feedstocks into next generation bioproducts, announced that Dr. Ramon Gonzalez, Scientific Advisory Board Chairman of GlycosBio, has received the 2010 Glycerine Innovation Award during the Annual Meeting of the American Oil Chemists? Society (AOCS). The award is sponsored annually by The Soap and Detergent Associate (SDA) and the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).

The William W. Akers Assistant Professor in the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Bioengineering at Rice University in Houston, Gonzalez and his team of researchers identified the metabolic processes and conditions that allow a known strain of E. coli to convert glycerine, the major byproduct of biodiesel production, into ethanol.

By discovering innovative pathways that mediate glycerol fermentation in E. coli, Gonzalez was able to develop new technologies for converting glycerol into high-value chemicals. Through this research and discovery, Gonzalez and his team designed strains of E. coli that could produce a range of products from biofuels, ethanol, hydrogen and organic acids.

GlycosBio was founded based on Gonzalez's discovery. The company is using this technology innovation to enable petrochemical, palm oil, oleochemical and biofuel producers to convert by-products including glycerol and free fatty acids into higher-value green chemicals. By not following the typical sugars-based fermentation research, GlycosBio offers the industry an alternative approach to traditional corn or sugar-based biofuel and chemical production.
Mon May 31 2010 11:44:18 AM by Abomohra