Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), which has invested more than $100 million to develop algae-derived biofuels, is refocusing its research with Synthetic Genomics Inc. after almost four years of work failed to produce economically viable results.
A joint project between the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and industry partners could result in technology to grow algae to be made into several items, including biodiesel, in the heart of the Canadian petroleum industry: oil sands facilities.
The Algal Carbon Conversion Pilot Project, a partnership among the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Canadian Natural) and Pond Biofuels, will result in the construction of a unique, $19 million facility in Alberta.
BioProcess Algae Awarded $6.4 Million U.S. Department of Energy Grant to Develop Advanced Drop-in Biofuels for Military Jets and ShipsPosted On: April 26, 2013
BioProcess Algae LLC has been selected to receive a grant of up to $6.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as part of an innovative pilot-scale biorefinery project related to production of hydrocarbon fuels meeting military specification. The project will use renewable carbon dioxide, lignocellulosic sugars and waste heat through BioProcess Algae’s Grower Harvester(TM) technology platform, co-located with the Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc., ethanol plant in Shenandoah, Iowa.
Developing a new generation of energy-producing construction components, Grow Energy, of San Diego, California, plans for algae to create clean electricity for residential and commercial structures. Their first system, called Verde, is a technology specifically designed for individual homes. According to the company, Verde employs a clean combustion process to burn algal biomass to create electricity and heat energy, which can significantly offset a property’s utility expenses, if not supplement the entirety of a property’s electricity needs.
The Verde system photobioreactors are algae panels that mount onto a building’s roof or envelope and grow algae by using recycled elements and nutrients in a closed-loop process. Designed to be minimally invasive, the system is compact and meant to be no more intrusive to a home’s aesthetics than solar technology. Grow Energy plans to introduce Verde to the mainstream homeowner market in 2015.
An apartment building in an up and coming section of Hamburg, Germany will attempt to employ the use of millions of microalgae in order to generate some heat. The microalage do this when fed a mixture of liquid nutrients, CO2 and sunlight. The building will not get all of its heat from the microalgae, however. It will have solar and be linked to a bio-methane plant and a network of similar energy-generating buildings.
Called the Bio Intelligence Quotient (BIQ) house, the building will have fifteen separate apartments. Upon hearing that algae will be covering parts of the exterior, it may sound offputting, but they are microscopic and can be attached in a way so they much more resemble green paint than something you see in a pond. These microalgae can produce five times more biomass than land-based plants in addition to the heat they generate. This extra plant matter would have to be collected and converted to biogas away from the residential building though
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/03/26/algae-covered-walls-to-heat-building/#kt5d52oQGZXMSeKW.99
The marine animal tunicate can be used both as biofuel and fish food, according to research from Norway. On the ocean floor, under the pier, and on ship ropes — that’s where the tunicates live. Tunicates are marine filter feeders that serve as bacteria eaters and as a foodstuff in Korea and Japan. But in the future they may become more prevalent.
Five researchers at the University of Bergen (UiB) and Uni Research have found that a certain type of tunicate — ascidiacea — can be used as a renewable source of biofuel and fish food. This is particularly good news for the growing aquaculture industry, which for years has struggled to find enough quality feed for its fish. There also is the prospect of reducing emissions from traffic.
In late March, the opening of two biofuel tilapia- based plants in the towns Jaguaribara and Morada Nova, in Vale do Jaguaribe, was announced.
The Jaguaribara plant is being implemented to solve the environmental problems generated by the disposal of fish waste, which is a big problem in the region, as the viscera is typically thrown onto the ground and can contaminate groundwater. The unit belonging to Morada Nova will produce biodiesel and ethanol.
With such a focus on the possibilities that microalgae can offer, various industrial methods have been developed for its production. However, most are currently not economically viable, especially on a large scale.
Limitations to these systems include: sub-optimal productivity, expensive installation, large footprint (surface area), high water demand and the requirement for a highly trained end-user. The EU-funded ALDADISK project has been set up to meet these challenges by creating a scalable production unit, capable of delivering high value alga-based products and biomass while reducing CO2 emissions. Current commercial alga technologies use plantonic algae in water solution in Vertical Bioreactors (VB) or algae farms with large ponds. However, there are several disadvantages. The processes need a lot of water during production, CO2 is released through bubbling in the liquid phase and harvesting is difficult, time consuming and inefficient. In addition, the operation is difficult to scale up and leaves a large foot print.
ALDADISK’s proposed process is based on biofilm technology using a Rotating Disk reactor system similar to the state of art rotating reactors used elsewhere in the biological industry.
SCIENTISTS PUBLISH FIRST IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF ALGAE PARASITE IMPACT ON SCALABLE ALGAE BIOFUEL PRODUCTION IN PLOS ONE JOURNALPosted On: February 24, 2013
As part of an ongoing effort to improve commercial scale algae biofuel production, a group of scientists, led by crude oil producer Sapphire Energy, Inc., today announced the completion of a collaborative study which identified the morphology, ultrastructure, and life history of A. protococcarum, one of the most difficult to manage algae parasites. Their findings are detailed in “Characterization of Amoeboaphelidium Protococcarum: An Algal Parasite New to the Cryptomycota Isolated from an Outdoor Algal Pond Used for the Production of Biofuel,” published today in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE. The article provides a comprehensive study of the parasite challenge facing crop protection for scaled algae cultivation in open-pond systems. These results will provide a broader understanding and promote the development of sustainable management strategies for biofuel production.
Solarvest has made significant progress in its plans to use its patented algal technology to develop commercial products focused on health care. The Company recently completed negotiations to acquire a 30,000 sq. ft. facility in Summerville Prince Edward Island which will be repurposed to house the Company’s planned algal production. Solarvest has acquired the facility on a lease to own basis for $436,000 with an 8-year term, the previous owner had invested in excess of $2.2 million in developing the facility.