Discusses the various methods to harvest micro and macro algae - filtration, centrifugation, flocculation, flotation...


Postby wwcd101 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 9:11 pm

See below. Press Release is self-explanatory.

Press Release:

Breakthrough Development in Algal Harvesting, Dewatering and Drying
Cost of Key Processing Step Slashed by Over 99%

Washington, DC—March 16, 2009—Univenture, Inc. and AlgaeVenture Systems, a wholly owned LLC, announced they have filed patent documents for a disruptive technology for removing algae out of water and into the fuel tank. For nearly 40 years it was widely accepted that if algae could be removed from water at less than $50 per ton, it could lead to economic fuel from algae. Today, in Washington DC, AlgaeVenture Systems claims that a prototype-dewatering machine will reduced the cost from $875 per ton to a dramatic low cost of $1.92 per ton.

The US Department of Energy studied algae after the oil embargo of 1970’s, discovering that algae offered significant capability to produce biofuel. However, it was determined to be costly and the program was ended in 1996. The interest in algae bloomed again as oil reached record prices in 2008. Several private companies have raised hundreds of millions of dollars to pursue the technologies with varying strategies.

Univenture, Inc. created AlgaeVenture Systems to grow algae in industrial and agricultural areas of the country that have opportunities to use pollutants as algae nutrients. This is a strategy of locating the algae farms near waste sources to produce a variety of products including fuels while cleaning up the air and water. The focus of the AlgaeVenture Systems is to manufacture and install simplified greenhouse ponds in proximity to power plants, waste water plants, farm waste facilities, food processors or other locations in which the geography supports algal growth year round at energy costs that are reduced by the collocation.

Univenture’s CEO Ross Youngs points out that “algae farming could never be considered a competitor of the food supply because you really have an option as an algae farmer to grow food, feed or fuel and you can chose the crop at any time and change the crop to be ready for daily harvests in under 20 days. Algae can protect our fuel supplies because it can be grown virtually anywhere in the U.S. and that is a benefit to national security by decentralizing the supply and reducing dependence on foreign oil”.

AlgaeVenture Systems’ technology drops the energy cost of harvesting, dewatering and drying a metric ton of microalgal biomass from $875.00 (pre-concentration then centrifugation) to a cost of $1.92 using the new highly efficient technology. Youngs stated, “We are very proud of this advancement in technology which was modeled by studying nature at its best”. Youngs continues to put the technology into perspective by saying “a human body on average uses about 96 watts to perform all bodily functions in a 24-hour period including moving and filtering 6,000 liters of viscous blood”. AlgaeVenture Systems’ small-scale prototype can process 6,000 liters of 3 grams per liter of chlorella microalgae from solution to dry flake on 480 watts in 12 hours. Of course, this is inefficient when compared to a human body but incredibly efficient when compared to all existing algal harvesting methods.

The technology utilizes nature’s methods of moving water including capillary effect, cohesion, adhesion, absorption and Transpirational pull. Transpirational pull is how a tree or any plant moves water from the roots to the highest leaf, potentially 379 feet straight up from the roots. Youngs describes the technology as counterintuitive saying “there is so much water and so little algae it is natural to want to move the algae, but moving the water is very efficient. Algae are 33,000 times larger than a water molecule, and there are circumstances where you would add water to improve separation and drying. Accelerated sedimentation (centrifuging) moves everything including the water and the algae in order to separate and has no real equal in nature”.

This technology is scalable, portable and will be custom made to the customer-required application in the early stages. Though the technology was designed for microalgae, the AlgaeVenture Systems describes the invention as disruptive to several other separating, dewatering applications and associated equipment. Additional details about the technology can be obtained at

About Univenture:

Univenture firmly believes in the conservation of both ecological and economic resources. The company is, and has been since its inception, environmentally conscious, bringing to market a variety of patented and award-winning molded and converted plastic products that are environmentally friendly. Univenture started AlgaeVenture Systems to develop technology and systems for algal production of lipids and biomass, which can be used for fuels, plastics, advanced materials, feeds, foods, and other valuable resources.

Univenture has been designing and manufacturing converted and molded plastic products including bio-based plastics and was founded in 1988. The company was listed 5 times on the Inc. 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the 90’s and the founder; Ross O. Youngs was named National Business Person of the Year for the SBA in 1997. The dedicated focus of the Univenture team has resulted in numerous industry awards and accolades for its innovation, commitment to customers and sales growth.

Univenture has corporate offices and operations in Marysville, Ohio; with offices in Reno, Nevada; Dublin, Ireland and Shenzhen, China. For more information on Univenture, visit or call Univenture’s corporate headquarters at 800-992-8262.

Corporate Contact:
Amy Bucklin or
Ross Youngs
AVS Project Manager
(937) 645-4604
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Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:49 pm

Re: Breakthrough!

Postby e00y_86 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:53 pm

anyone know whether they add any flocculant to the algae suspension prior to the picking up by belting phase?
or will addition of flocculant has any effect on dewatering process?
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:43 pm

Re: Breakthrough!

Postby dasha08 » Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:58 pm

How feasible is this - turning algae into fuel ? Given that algae is abundant, then to me it does make sense to turn it into fuel as a means too to conserve gasoline.
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Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:45 pm

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