Can sugar replace light in PBR's?

Can sugar replace light in PBR's?

Postby gerrelli » Tue May 12, 2009 1:10 am

According to the company Solazyme, sugar produces much higher yields of oil from Algae then light. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyXk7Mk1mas

The above video is from Solazyme, scroll to time 1:29 minutes and you'll see a scientist and a reporter talking about sugar as a better alternative to light.

Does anyone know anything about this?

Thanks.
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Re: Can sugar replace light in PBR's?

Postby sreevatsansumukhi » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:46 am

Solazyme uses a very different approach to make biofuels, they use heterotrophic algae in the dark while the others grow photo-autotrophic algae in light.These algae however doesn’t require sunlight, they need sugar for their growth. Intrestingly, Growing these algae in dark is a simplified process. It grows faster in dark than with light.

Heterotrophic algae are fed with sugars((corn, sorghum or other sources), they consume the food and show significant growth. They can reproduce every 8 hours. The company's researchers feed algae sugar, which the organisms then convert into various types of oil. The oil can be extracted and further processed to make a range of fuels, including diesel and jet fuel, as well as other products.

There are some people who contridict saying , this might actually not work the sugars may turn more expensive. However, there are some researchers who argue saying that , even if we use corn as a sugar source for algae, we are still left with the corn protein and corn oil which can be used. Similarly if starch is used, they can be further used for ethanol production.

Surprisingly ,sugar-fed algae grow more rapidly. Researchers claim that algae grown in the dark can reach densities that are 1,000 times higher than strains of photo-autotrophic algae that are grown in the light . One concentrated tank of heterotrophic algae is equivalent to growing 1000 tanks of photo-autotrophic algae. That ‘s quite intresting isn’t ?
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Re: Can sugar replace light in PBR's?

Postby gerrelli » Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:25 am

sreevatsansumukhi wrote:Solazyme uses a very different approach to make biofuels, they use heterotrophic algae in the dark while the others grow photo-autotrophic algae in light.These algae however doesn’t require sunlight, they need sugar for their growth. Intrestingly, Growing these algae in dark is a simplified process. It grows faster in dark than with light.

Heterotrophic algae are fed with sugars((corn, sorghum or other sources), they consume the food and show significant growth. They can reproduce every 8 hours. The company's researchers feed algae sugar, which the organisms then convert into various types of oil. The oil can be extracted and further processed to make a range of fuels, including diesel and jet fuel, as well as other products.

There are some people who contridict saying , this might actually not work the sugars may turn more expensive. However, there are some researchers who argue saying that , even if we use corn as a sugar source for algae, we are still left with the corn protein and corn oil which can be used. Similarly if starch is used, they can be further used for ethanol production.

Surprisingly ,sugar-fed algae grow more rapidly. Researchers claim that algae grown in the dark can reach densities that are 1,000 times higher than strains of photo-autotrophic algae that are grown in the light . One concentrated tank of heterotrophic algae is equivalent to growing 1000 tanks of photo-autotrophic algae. That ‘s quite intresting isn’t ?


It certainly is interesting and your level of knowledge is astonishing! Thanks for providing such valuable feedback. It answers the question I had in my mind which is light vs dark algae. Having to grow and harvest sugar considerably increases the input requirements where as with light algae I guess we could use solar power therefore with very little input compared to sugar. I see the discovery of a high lipid fast growing strain of light algae to be my goal, coupled with the development of more effective growth and refinement techniques.

Dark algae is certainly something worth considering in the long term, once we have a large international biofuel industry replacing up to 50% of fossil fuel consumption, should that day ever come.
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Re: Can sugar replace light in PBR's?

Postby JToeppen » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:32 am

White rot is a kind of mushroom spawn that digests the glue that hold cellulose together. Cellulose is a complex sugar that does not ferment unless broken into shorter units. So, white rot is being researched for this purpose:
http://www.jgi.doe.gov/News/news_5_4_08.html

There is a great deal to learn from the JGI website:
http://www.jgi.doe.gov/News/primer/primer043007.pdf

Some of their work is in finding strains of algae that don’t need light but use sugar if it is available.
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Re: Can sugar replace light in PBR's?

Postby Eddie » Sun Nov 08, 2009 1:01 am

"algae grown in the dark can reach densities that are 1,000 times higher than strains of photo-autotrophic algae that are grown in the light"

I have read this quotation several times on Oilgae.com and would like to analyze the data behind the 1,000 times higher statement plus find out who or what company came to these conclusions.
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