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Algae

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News
  1. Algae for Biodiesel Fuel and Oil (Oilgae.com)
      "While a number of bio-feedstock are currently being experimented for biodiesel (and ethanol ) production, algae have emerged as one of the most promising sources especially for biodiesel production, for two main reasons (1) The yields of oil from algae are orders of magnitude higher than those for traditional oilseeds, and (2) Algae can grow in places away from the farmlands & forests, thus minimising the damages caused to the eco- and food chain systems. There is a third interesting reason as well: Algae can be grown in sewages and next to power-plant smokestacks where they digest the pollutants and give us oil!"

      "While algae are one of the more promising feedstock owing to their widespread availability and higher oil yields, it is felt that there are not enough web resources that provide comprehensive information on biodiesel production from algae. Oilgae.com ( www.oilgae.com ) intends to fill this gap, and aims to be a one-stop resource for information and web links for biodiesel production from algae." 07-08

  2. Extracting Oil from Algae (Oilgae.com)
      "Expression/Expeller press-When algae is dried it retains its oil content, which then can be "pressed" out with an oil press. Many commercial manufacturers of vegetable oil use a combination of mechanical pressing and chemical solvents in extracting oil."

      "While more efficient processes are emerging, a simple process is to use a press to extract a large percentage (70-75%) of the oils out of algae." 07-08

  3. Making Biodiesel from Algal Oil (Oilgae.com)
      "Transesterification of algal oil is normally done with ethanol and sodium ethanolate serving as the catalyst. Sodium ethanolate can be produced by reacting ethanol with sodium."

      "Thus, with sodium ethanolate as the catalyst, ethanol is reacted with the algal oil ( the triglyceride) to produce bio-diesel & glycerol. The end products of this reaction are hence biodiesel, sodium ethanolate and glycerol."

      "This end-mixture is separated as follows: Ether and salt water are added to the mixture and mixed well. After sometime, the entire mixture would have separated into two layers, with the bottom layer containing a mixture of ether and biodiesel. This layer is separated."

      "Biodiesel is in turn separated from ether by a vaporizer under a high vacuum. As the ether vaporizes first, the biodiesel will remain. The biodiesel from algae is now ready for use!" 07-08

Papers
  1. Algae Conference in India (AlgaeBiofuelSummit.com)
      "Similar to plants, algae converts solar energy, CO2 & water to valuable chemical energy via photosynthesis. This chemical energy is stored in algae as lipid oils and can be converted into biodiesel. The residual algae de-oiled cake is a high protein matter and can be used as animal/ cattle feed, organic fertilizer and nutritional supplements." 09-08

  2. Algae Scaled Up as Biofuel (New York Times)
      "An unusual experiment featuring equal parts science, environmental optimism and Native American capitalist ambition is unfolding here on the Southern Ute Indian Reservation in southwest Colorado."

      "With the twin goals of making fuel from algae and reducing emissions of heat-trapping gases, a start-up company co-founded by a Colorado State University professor [Bryan Willson] recently introduced a strain of algae that loves carbon dioxide into a water tank next to a natural gas processing plant. The water is already green-tinged with life." 08-09

  3. Algae as Biofuel (Time.com)
      "Algae biofuel is still some way from commercialization — a gallon of the stuff costs as much as $20 — but the technology is progressing. One start-up, Algenol, has plans for a 100 million gallon a year facility in northern Mexico's Sonora Desert." 02-09

  4. Algae as Biofuel (Time.com)
      "Progress in the field is slow. Now, however, several American companies are vying to become the first to market cellulosic ethanol, aided in part by a new U.S. tax credit worth $1.01 per gallon for makers of such biofuels. That state aid will help defray high initial costs, and make cellulosic more competitive with oil. At Mascoma, Lynd is focused on finding and using bacteria that can digest cellulose and spit out ethanol in a single step — he calls it consolidated bioprocessing. It could reduce production costs so dramatically, he believes Mascoma will eventually be able to churn out ethanol more cheaply than gas, even without government subsidies." 01-10

  5. Algae as Biofuel Gets Government Support (MSNBC News)
      "With a big boost from the government, algae is making headway as a potential replacement for some of the 18 million barrels of crude oil used daily nationwide."

      "Algae use less overall carbon than fossil fuels because the plants absorb carbon as they grow and release it when their fuels are burnt, rather than just releasing carbon during use, as is the case with petroleum-based fuels. And of course algae can be grown domestically, reducing the amount of petroleum we need to import." 11-10

  6. Algae as Biofuel in Texas (PetroSunInc.com)
      "Extensive research was conducted to determine the utilization of microalgae as an energy source, with applications being developed for biodiesel, ethanol, and bioplastics. Independent studies have demonstrated that algae is capable of producing in excess of 30 times more oil per acre than corn and soybean crops. Biodiesel produced from algae contains no sulfur, is non-toxic and highly biodegradable." 02-09

  7. Algae as Biofuel in Texas (Wired.com)
      "PetroSun's gameplan is to extract algal oil on-site at the farms and transport it to company bideisel refineries via barge, rail or truck. The company plans to open more farms in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia in 2008."

      "Of all the options for future jet biofuel production, algae is considered one of the most viable. It yields 30 times more energy per acre than its closest competitor, and requires neither fresh water, arable land used for cultivation, or consumable food, giving it an advantage over ethanol. PetroSun asserts that an area the size of Maryland could produce enough algae biofuel to satisfy the entire fuel requirements of the United States."

      Editor's Note: Maryland has 12,407 square miles and is ranked 41st in size among states. 02-09

  8. Algae as Green Fuel (MSNBC News)
      "Set amid cornfields and cow pastures in eastern Holland is a shallow pool that is rapidly turning green with algae, harvested for animal feed, skin treatments, biodegradable plastics — and with increasing interest, biofuel." 09-08

  9. Algae as Green Fuel (Time.com)
      "Milton Sommerfeld and Qiang Hu have been working on raising algae to turn into a biofuel that would be virtually identical to gasoline. The fuel would actually be carbon-neutral, because algae consume carbon dioxide as they grow. Unlike traditional corn or sugarcane — two plants used for most ethanol biofuels today — algae can't be eaten, so using it for fuel doesn't cut into food supplies. ASU isn't alone. Start-ups like Sapphire Energy in San Diego are vying to bring the fuel to market — and give oil back its good name." 09-08

  10. Algae for Biofuel (ScienceDaily.com)
      "Joseph LaStella, president of Green Star Products, Inc. in San Diego, Calif., raved about the potential of algae in a recent phone call. His company built a demonstration pond in Hamilton, Mont., last spring."

      "Soybeans produce about 50 gallons of oil per acre per year, and canola produces about 130, he said. Algae, however, produces about 4,000 gallons per acre a year, and he predicted it will go far beyond that. He said algae requires only sunshine and non-drinkable water to grow. The demonstration pond showed that algae will grow even when temperatures fall below zero."

      " 'This is the only answer to our fuel crisis,' LaStella said." 06-08

  11. Algae for Biofuel and Ethanol (Popular Mechanics.com)
      "Given the right conditions, algae can double its volume overnight. Unlike other biofuel feedstocks, such as soy or corn, it can be harvested day after day. Up to 50 percent of an alga’s body weight is comprised of oil, whereas oil-palm trees—currently the largest producer of oil to make biofuels—yield just about 20 percent of their weight in oil."

      GreenFuel hopes its pilot plant will see initial yields of 8000 gallons of biodiesel and 5000 gallons of ethanol per acre of algae."

      Editor's Note: A reader made this comment: "The articvle is incorrect on many points. The Algae that reproduces 100%, or doubles, in 24 hours or less, does not manufacture the oil stock of biodiesel. The algae that produces hydrocarbons is botryococcus braunii China Strain 1 or 2. This particular algae produces hydrocarbons of up to 60% of its DRY WEIGHT. It doubles itself every 2 to 4 days, considerably slower than the articles noted rate. This algae also has a life cycle that slows down even under the best of conditions." 07-08

  12. Exxon Invests in Algae-Based Fuel (MSNBC News)
      "Exxon Mobil Corp. said Tuesday it will make its first major investment in greenhouse-gas reducing biofuels in a $600 million partnership with biotech company Synthetic Genomics Inc. to develop transportation fuels from algae." 09-09

  13. Phosphorous Fosters Algae Growth (Canada.com)
      " 'Phosphorous really is the key to eutrophication,' says Schindler, whose study is highlighted prominently in the U.S. based Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week." 07-08

  14. Use of Algae as Biofuel (AlternativeFuelsWorld.com)
      "Now I'd been following algae at a distance for some time. I'd also read through a lot of technical literature from the past, and I'd come away with the conclusion that while the concept of algae as a fuel crop appears to have merit, primarily due to the incredibly rapid growth rate of many species and the fact that they do not require planting, the path to commercialization seems long, tortuous, and strewn with obstacles. Much research has already gone into the production of fuel from algae, some of which had commenced back during the petroleum crises of the seventies and eighties, and nobody has succeeded in developing high yield, cost effective production facilities, at least nobody's proven that they have. Still, a number of firms are making claims that they're already there, and that all they need to do to go commercial is find the funding to scale up."

      "My thinking is that investment in algal cultivation is at an early stage and will increase greatly if not exponentially over the next five years. At that point the algae guys will be at the same place the fuel cell guys were circa 2004. They will have to demonstrate commercial feasibility or algal lipids will join hydrogen as the fuel of the future, the indefinite future that never quite seems to arrive." 02-08

   
   


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