Select species of algae produce bio-oils through the natural process of photosynthesis — requiring only sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. Growing algae consume carbon dioxide; this provides greenhouse gas mitigation benefits. bio-oil produced by photosynthetic algae and the resultant biofuel will have molecular structures that are similar to the petroleum and refined products we use today. Algae have the potential to yield greater volumes of biofuel per acre of production than other biofuel sources. Algae could yield more than 2000 gallons of fuel per acre per year of production. Approximate yields for other fuel sources are far lower: - Palm — 650 gallons per acre per year - Sugar cane — 450 gallons per acre per year - Corn — 250 gallons per acre per year - soy — 50 gallons per acre per year Algae used. As a result, large quantities of algae can be grown quickly, and the process of testing different strains of algae for their fuel-making potential can proceed more rapidly than for other crops with longer life cycles. If successful, bio-oils from photosynthetic algae could be used to manufacture a full range of fuels including gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel that meet the same specifications as todays products.
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Meeting the worlds growing energy demands will require a multitude of sources. Biofuel from algae could be a meaningful part of the solution in the future because of its potential as an economically viable, low emissions transportation fuel. Algae fuel is an alternative to fossil fuel that uses algae as its source advantages of natural deposits. Several companies and government agencies are funding efforts to reduce capital and operating costs and make algae fuel production commercially viable. Harvested algae, like fossil fuel, release co2 when burnt but annotated unlike fossil fuel the co2 is taken out of the atmosphere by the growing algae. High oil prices, competing demands between foods and other biofuel sources, and the world food crisis, have ignited interest in algaculture (farming algae ) for making vegetable oil, biodiesel, bioethanol, biogasoline, biomethanol, biobutanol and other biofuels, using land that is not suitable for agriculture. Among algal fuels' attractive characteristics: they can be grown with minimal impact on fresh water resources, can be produced using ocean and wastewater, and are biodegradable and relatively harmless to the environment if spilled. Algae cost more per unit mass due to high capital and operating costs, yet are claimed to yield between 10 and 100 times more fuel per unit area than other second-generation biofuel crops. Advantages of, algae, biofuels from photosynthetic algae have potential benefits and advantages. Algae can be grown using land and water unsuitable for plant or food production, unlike some other first- and second-generation biofuel feedstocks.
Back in February, then-ceo robert Walsh, a veteran of spondylolisthesis LS9 and Shell, resigned from Aurora, and the cfo retired. In March, aurora raised another 15 million. In March, it raised 15 million more and appointed Scott McDonald as ceo. The company said it would use the money for advanced algae biofuel development and did not mention food. Aurora's founders optimized a genetic pathway in a strain of algae that effectively turbocharges the growth and reproduction cycle. Back in 2009, the company talked about 2-a-gallon biodiesel by 2011 or 2012. But by the end of that year, it failed to get a department of Energy grant. The management changes, and now the strategy change, followed soon afterwards. Home project Reports profiles algae, biofuel - manufacturing Plant, detailed Project Report, Profile, business, plan, industry Trends, market Research, survey, manufacturing Process, machinery, raw Materials, feasibility Study, investment Opportunities, cost And revenue, plant Economics.
See video.) Others, such as, cobalt biofuels, have begun to emphasize biobutanol for the chemistry industry and have put less stess on biobutanol as a substitute for jet fuel. Zeachem now talks of producing acetic acid and other materials for the plastics industry; the company started with a push on cellulosic ethanol from poplar trees. LS9 produces chemicals for the fuel industry, but also has a deal with Proctor gamble. Aurora declined to comment. The company's website partly reflects the name change: it is listed as Aurora and Aurora. Algae on various pages of the website, while the url is still. The company also has begun to talk about tasty omega-3s on the site, but in very general terms. One page of the website lists the opportunities in "pharma, feed, food and fuel." Note how fuel is listed last.
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Large oil producers like exxonMobil have invested in biofuel start-ups, but have yet to commit to full-scale production agreements with them. Further, the price of fuel fluctuates. Many startups were formed in the era when predictions of 200-a-barrel oil weren't that far-fetched. Now, oil burbles around 75 a barrel. By contrast, the chemistry and markets are much more stable.
Potential suppliers have to meet certain technical and safety thresholds, but once they movie do, they can secure lucrative contracts. Put another way, it's easier to get on your plate than into your gas tank. Besides, how do name you think salmon get their omega-3s? Through a food chain that starts with algae. Solazyme, one of the algae leaders, opened a food lab last year and began selling algae oil to the cosmetics and food industry for revenue. (The brownies taste pretty good.
"We can't get ourselves over the capital hurdle around microalgae yet, but we're really watching both areas dupont's Danielson said. The companies plan to start work with the seaweed in early 2010 and work on the early stages of the project over the next two years while funded by the arpa-e grant. Though they don't expect the product will be close to market-ready at that time, they hope to better gauge whether it will be feasible to continue research on this track. "With r d, it can look easy on paper parekh said, "but you can run into all sorts of challenges." Reprinted from Greenwire with permission from Environment energy publishing, llc. That's the new business plan of Aurora, formerly aurora biofuels.
The company emerged out of research conducted at uc berkeley in 2007 with a business plan to grow algae in open ponds to produce fuel. Now, the company is in the midst of a reorganization, according to sources. When it emerges, aurora will put a strong emphasis on growing algae for omega-3 fatty acids and proteins for the dietary supplements market. It will also sell cell mass as animal feed. Aurora had mentioned the possibility of selling cell mass (i.e., the leftovers after the oil has been extracted) as pet food in the past, but the push on oils for human dietary supplements, particularly with a vigor that will equal or exceed the company's push. The vast majority of biofuel startups have encountered difficulty in getting past the experimental stage. Range fuels, mascoma and others have delayed plants because of a lack of available capital. Others, like algae pioneer GreenFuel Technologies, which raised over 70 million, went under.
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The company will not disclose how much butanol it expects to produce from seaweed, citing competitive eksempel reasons. Parekh says that the companies believe they will one day be "competitive" with petroleum, and as a bonus, they will be able to avoid the steep up-front costs microalgae farmers face to create pools for their algae. Bal could theoretically just lease some offshore areas from the government and farm the seaweed there. The company, which also has a site in Chile, is still considering locations in both the United States and abroad as potential farm destinations. The site selection will also determine its seaweed of choice, since it hopes to grow seaweed that is native to its surroundings. Dupont estimates that if just.5 percent words of America's coastline were used for seaweed growth - all along the continental shelf in those areas -.8 billion gallons of fuel could be produced per year. The companies maintain that they do not see seaweed as better than other types of algae, just as another biofuel option.
Biobutanol advocates, including dupont, say the fuel could work better in automobiles than the better-known ethanol and will be easier to transport. The key to unleashing seaweed's biobutanol potential is in a bal-designed microbe that lives entirely off of seaweed as a carbon source, the company says. "We were really the first to think of that parekh said. The microbe takes sugar from the seaweed and thus far can produce ethanol as a byproduct. The company plans to work with genetic north engineers at dupont to further perfect the microbe - programming it to produce biobutanol. 'It can look easy on paper' The other piece of the puzzle is that biobutanol is really an experimental biofuel itself. Dupont says it has already succeeded at extracting sugar from corn and converting it into biobutanol in the lab, but it has yet to scale up the operation.
endeavor. Seaweed operations, like, maine seaweed., harvest a fraction of the hundreds of thousands of tons of seaweed naturally available along the. Coast, but bal hopes to farm its own. Parekh says his company, which is in charge of growing seaweed for its biobutanol project, is interested in farming the seaweed because it is more environmentally sustainable. "One of the challenges of harvesting a natural seaweed bed is you can only do a certain percent of the bed if you don't want to have a negative environmental impact he said. "The economics of production suggest that we'll be better off if we grow our own seaweed and locate it close to our plant.". But to farm enough seaweed to support mass production of a biofuel would be a large departure from current. Graham has one of the few seaweed farms in the United States - perhaps the largest - and he only grows about a ton of seaweed a year to augment abalone snails' diet. If successful, though, the payoff could be well worth.
That's why the companies were able to win one. Doe's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (arpa-e) awards, announced late last month, which are designed specifically for ambitious "high-risk, high-payoff" energy research projects. Part of the reason seaweed hasn't taken off as a biofuel source is that it's not part of American culture, said nikesh Parekh, ceo of bio architecture lab. "Our founders are from Japan, and they are much more familiar with seaweed farming and seaweed as a culture crop.". Planting a large-scale seaweed farm would likely come up against stiff opposition from those who are not used to seaweed farms in their backyards, agreed. Mike graham, an ecologist specializing in seaweed at the california state University-associated Moss Landing Marine laboratories. Difficulty controlling seaweed probably also kept interested companies focused on the more manageable microalgae, since it's so small, Graham said.
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Seaweed holds promise as more than an ingredient in a purifying face mask or a maki roll. So say researchers at,. Du pont de nemours., which alongside seattle-based, bio architecture lab (BAL) has secured 9 million from the. Department of Energy to explore seaweed's potential as a feedstock for biobutanol, an advanced biofuel. Their venture appears to have literature largely cornered the current market. Though more than 200 companies have looked into algae -based biofuels, dupont and bal say most others have shied away from using macroalgae, like kelp. "We're in the vanguard here on this technology. There are other people who have talked about changing microalgae - green algae that floats in the water - into advanced biofuel, but using seaweed is unique said dupont's Nathan Danielson, a program manager who oversaw the companies' doe grant application.