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.
Flinders University is to receive $450,000 over three years from a major Chinese corporation to further the University’s research into the potential conversion of seaweed into a range of high value products including foods, cosmetics and medicinal compounds.
Minister for Science and Information Economy Grace Portolesi today officially opened the world class marine biotechnology laboratory on seaweeds at Flinders University.
The research agreement between Flinders and the Gather Great Ocean Group (GGOG) of China was signed today at the opening ceremony. The Flinders University – GGOG Advanced Macroalgae Biotechnology Joint Laboratory initiative is a collaboration between the Flinders Centre for Marine Bioproducts Development, and GGOG, based in Qingdao, Shandong Province.
A new nasal spray from a marine microbe will help clear chronic sinusitis, which causes nasal congestion, difficulty in breathing, pain and swelling around your eyes and cheeks. A team of scientists and surgeons from Newcastle University are developing the spray with an enzyme isolated from a marine bug Bacillus licheniformis, found on the surface of seaweed.
Lab experiments showed that the enzyme, called NucB, dispersed 58 per cent of biofilms in chronic sinusitis formed by the marine bug. The biofilm acts as a slimy barrier to protect bugs from sprays or antibiotics, the journal Public Library of Science ONE reports.
Cyanotech Corporation, a world leader in microalgae-based, high-value nutrition and health products, including BioAstin® Natural Astaxanthin and Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica®, has announced financial results for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal year 2013, ended September 30, 2012.
Second Quarter 2013
For the second quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to the second quarter of fiscal 2012, revenues were $6,936,000 compared to $5,989,000, an increase of 16%. Gross profit was $2,812,000, with gross profit margin of 40.5%, compared to gross profit of $2,790,000 and gross profit margin of 46.6%. Net income was $476,000 or $0.08 per diluted share, compared to net income of $875,000 or $0.16 per diluted share.
Streamline Automation, of Huntsville, Alabama, has been assigned a patent (8,303,818) developed by four co-inventors for a “method and apparatus using an active ionic liquid for algae biofuel harvest and extraction.” The co-inventors are Roberto Di Salvo, Madison, AL, Alton Reich, Huntsville, AL, H. Waite H. Dykes Jr., Huntsville, AL, and Rodrigo Teixeira, Madison, AL.
The abstract of the patent published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office states: “The invention relates to use of an active ionic liquid to dissolve algae cell walls. The ionic liquid is used to, in an energy efficient manner, dissolve and/or lyse algae cell walls, which releases algae constituents used in the creation of energy, fuel, and/or cosmetic components. The ionic liquids include ionic salts having multiple charge centers, low, very low, and ultra low melting point ionic liquids, and combinations of ionic liquids.
Japan’s Fukushima disaster is spawning billions of green, slimy photosynthetic organisms throughout its countryside – algae that is. Government grants are financing research into using algae harvesting technology as a new approach to radiation remediation.
I met with Riggs Eckelberry, president & CEO of California-based start-up OriginOil today. Eckelberry said that company, which makes solutions for renewable energy and treating wastewater, was selected by the Research Institute of Tsukuba Bio-tech to build up to 100 algae production sites in Japan via government financing.
Algae are capable of absorbing radioactive isotopes such as cesium, which were released in vast quantities during the nuclear disaster. Aerial contamination was widespread with cesium levels peaking at 50 million times normal levels, becoming the largest accidental release of radiation into the ocean in history. While the ocean took the brunt of the radiation, fallout fouled agricultural crops as well as beef and fish. The potential impact on human health is evident, and is being dealt with through both traditional and nontraditional means.
Algae.Tec Ltd. (AEB), a producer of algal oils used in clean fuel, plans to raise as much as $600 million and win fuel supply deals allowing it to build as many as six factories by 2015 in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Australia and the U.S.
“We will be using different project finance structures for all of these projects and they’ll all be roughly $100 million,” Chairman Roger Stroud said by phone from Sao Paulo.
Airlines in July 2011 won approval from the U.S. technical standards body to fly passenger planes using compounds made from inedible plants and organic waste mixed with petroleum-derived fuel. The ruling allows for blends of up to 50 percent biofuel. Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) in July 2011 became the world’s first carrier to offer routine scheduled flights running on biofuel.
Researchers based in Cork and Dublin have found that feeding pigs a seaweed extract has the potential to reduce oxidation in pork steaks.
In the journal, Meat Science, N.C. Moroney of University College Cork and co-authors there and at University College Dublin report an experiment in which they used a seaweed extract containing laminarin (L) and fucoidan (F) (L/F) from brown seaweed in spray-dried (L/F-SD) and wet (L/F-WS) forms.
The effect of supplementation of pig diets with L/F-SD and L/F-WS (L, 500mg per kg feed; F, 420mg per kg feed) for 21 days pre-slaughter, on quality indices of fresh M. longissimus dorsi (LD) steaks was examined.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego (Scripps) have entered into an agreement focusing on the design of an innovative system in which algae consume carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from natural gas combustion and cost-effectively convert it into valuable byproducts such as biomethane, biodiesel and animal feed.
The new collaboration between Scripps and SoCalGas includes an investigative research and systems engineering study to explore how algae production systems currently in development could most effectively capture industrial CO2 emissions. Targeted CO2 sources include: natural gas power plants, large engines used in natural gas compression and water pumping and boilers used to produce steam for industrial processes such as enhanced oil recovery.
Algae Biomass Summit to Reveal Latest Engineering Advances for Commercial Production of Domestic, Low-Carbon, Renewable Fuels Made From AlgaePosted On: August 6, 2012
The 6th Annual Algae Biomass Summit, taking place in Denver, Co. September 24-27 will showcase in its Engineering and Analysis track nearly 30 presentations by leading research scientists from national and corporate laboratories. The sessions will inform technical audiences about the latest in algae growing methodologies, biofuel and oil analysis, and similar developments related to growing and harvesting algae for fuels, food and other products. Advances in engineering are key to wide-scale commercial production of algae-based products.
“These are among the top researchers in the world developing technologies for algae production systems at commercial scale,” said Phil Pienkos, Principal Group Manager, Applied Sciences for the National Bioenergy Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Chair of the Algae Biomass Summit. “Combined with the incredible advances in algae biology, we’re seeing significant opportunities to increase yields, while reducing energy and water requirements and maximizing co-product potential.”
The Summit comes at a time when industry is increasingly looking for new sources of sustainable raw materials — feedstock — for a wide range of end uses. Products made from algae are the natural solution to the energy, food, economic, and climate challenges facing the world today. Algae have the power to simultaneously put fuels in vehicles, recycle CO2, provide nutrition for animals and people and create jobs for millions of Americans. More information can be found at www.allaboutalgae.com .
The Algae Biomass Summit is produced by the Algae Biomass Organization (ABO), the trade association for the US algae Industry.