NASA’s Bioreactor Cleans Wastewater too

NASA’s bioreactor grows Algae and Cleans Wastewater:

NASA invented an algae photo-bioreactor that grows algae in municipal wastewater to produce biofuel and a variety of other products. They estimate that 10 acres of ocean could produce 21 billion gallons of biofuel each year–enough for all U.S. aviation needs. A number of airlines have already begun to test out biofuels, including Continental Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Air New Zealand.

The NASA bioreactor is an Offshore Membrane Enclosure for Growing Algae (OMEGA), which won’t compete with agriculture for land, fertilizer, or freshwater.

When deployed in contaminated and “dead zone” coastal areas, this system may help remediate these zones by removing and utilizing the nutrients that cause them. The forward-osmosis membranes use relatively small amounts of external energy compared to the conventional methods of harvesting algae, which have an energy intensive de-watering process.

Potential benefits include oil production from the harvested algae, and conversion of municipal wastewater into clean water before it is released into the ocean. After the oil is extracted from the algae, the algal remains can be used to make fertilizer, animal feed, cosmetics, or other valuable products.

That is not all!

This successful spinoff of NASA-derived technology will help support the commercial development of a new algae-based biofuels industry and wastewater treatment.

More: http://bit.ly/6nXs9q

Seambiotic and Goudian tie up in China

A Seambiotic algae farm grows biofuel Seambiotic’s been teaming up with NASA to to create a biofuel suitable for sending astronauts into space and now this company is once again making news in a new venture with the China Goudian utility company to grow micro algae for use as a biodiesel fuel to power electrical power stations all over China.

Founded in 2003, Seambiotic develops and produces marine microalgae for the nutraceuticals and biofuel industries by using flue gas from electric power plants. Seambiotic’s success in utilizing an organic substance that is found in abundance in the world’s oceans and in fresh water sources as well, may one day solve much of the world’s energy needs as well as provide food products for the earth’s continuing increasing population. The new venture with one of China’s largest utility companies, which operates more than 100 power stations, will build its first commercial farm on 12 hectares (30 acres) in Penglai, a city in Shandong Province. The $10 million farm will utilize carbon dioxide being expelled from the power station in Penglai. It is expected to be operational some time in 2010. On Seambiotic’s website, the growth of microalgae requires an abundance of solar radiation in a wide range of temperatures. The algae is best grown in shallow ponds where both light and temperature play a part in the algae’s growth, they say, which is then “fed” by an abundance of carbon dioxide. In this case, by using the flue gases from coal-burning power stations, which are abundant in China. By utilizing the carbon dioxide that otherwise would escape into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming, these “greenhouse gases” are channeled into the algae cultivation ponds to stimulate algae growth. Algae as both a food source and as a bio fuel has been the subject of many projects all over the world, utilizing one of the earth’s most abundant plants that has been supplying much of our oxygen as well as being food for marine life as part of their food chain.

Being able to utilize this natural wonder product to provide food products for both animals and human beings, as well as an environmentally cleaner bio fuel, may one day reduce or even eliminate the need for using oil and coal as a fuel source, as well as reduce the problems of global warming. This good news in advance of the Copenhagen climate change talks which begin this week.

NASA Ames Breakthrough in Algae Fuel Production

Moffett Field’s NASA Ames, fuel for cars, trucks and planes can now be produced at your local sewage treatment plant.

The “bioreactor” was invented by NASA Ames bioengineer research scientist Jonathan Trent. The Offshore Membrane Enclosure for Growing Algae (OMEGA) floats in treated municipal wastewater and grows algae inside special plastic membranes. Once harvested, oil can be extracted from the algae for diesel or jet fuel, leaving remains that can be used for cosmetics, animal feed, fertilizer and other “valuable products.”

The breakthrough is NASA’s “forward osmosis membranes,” which extract freshwater from the algae using relatively little energy compared to other methods of algae production.

Ames has licensed the technology to Nevada-based Algae Systems for further refinement in Tampa Bay, Fla. Eventually, the company plans to create “biorefineries” with the technology, possibly at sewage treatment plants, where the technology could play a role in the water treatment process.

“The OMEGA technology has transformational powers. It can convert sewage and carbon dioxide into abundant and inexpensive fuels,” said Matthew Atwood, president and founder of Algae Systems, in a NASA press release. “The technology is simple and scalable enough to create an inexpensive, local energy supply that also creates jobs to sustain it.”

Unlike biofuel production methods that involve grass, corn or soybeans, OMEGA doesn’t compete with agriculture for land or freshwater, nor does it require added fertilizers or the use of diesel-powered tractors to harvest.

Read more: http://bit.ly/8WwPkQ


NASA Algae Technology at Hamburg Congress

NASA has been applying space technology to a process that links the production of algae-based fuel with an inexpensive method of sewage treatment.This is done by growing algae in plastic containers filled with sewage floating in the ocean.

NASA has created plastic osmotic containers that grow algae, which produce oil.

The benefits of this new method are that it does not compete with agriculture for land, freshwater, or fertilizer, which means that this method to make biofuels does not have to compete with land used for food purposes. Another advantage is the fact that the method cleans wastewater during the biofuels creation process, which means it can help remediate dead zones.

Scientist Jonathan Trent, lead researcher on the project at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, will explain this method and its advantages in more detail during his unofficial visit to the second International Algae Congress in Hamburg in one week’s time.

This two-day congress, on 1 and 2 December, deals with phototrophic aquaculture, microalgae, cyanobacteria, and microcrops. Jonathan Trent will present NASA’s new technology on Tuesday, the 1 December.

The NASA process is relatively simple. It starts with algae being placed in sewage-filled plastic bags. These bags are called OMEGA which stands for “offshore membrane enclosures for growing algae”.

Jonathan Trent says the effort has three goals that will demonstrate to the world: ‘firstly it is possible to produce sustainable quantities of biofuels that can replace the use of fossil fuels without competing for resources and land needed for food production.

Secondly these valued products are produced, while at the same time they help cleanse municipal wastewater and remediate dead zones such as those in the Baltic Sea and thirdly it is possible to produce products, clean the oceans, and at the same time remove the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere’.

Read more: http://bit.ly/6pCm2n

NASA applies Space Technology to turn Sewage into Algae-based Fuel

By growing algae in ocean floating plastic containers filled with sewage, NASA has created plastic osmotic containers which produce oil.

The NASA process starts with algae being placed in sewage-filled plastic bags called OMEGA which stands for ‘offshore membrane enclosures for growing algae’. The OMEGA bags are semi permeable membranes which NASA developed to recycle astronauts’ wastewater on long space missions. When used with sewage, the membranes let freshwater exit but prevent saltwater from entering.

Jonathan Trent, lead researcher and scientist on the project at NASA’s Ames Research Centre in California, said: “Firstly it is possible to produce sustainable quantities of biofuels that can replace the use of fossil fuels without competing for resources and land needed for food production. Secondly these valued products are produced, while at the same time they help cleanse municipal wastewater and remediate dead zones such as those in the Baltic Sea and thirdly it is possible to produce products, clean the oceans, and at the same time remove the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from the atmosphere.”



NASA Develops Algae Bioreactor

NASA Develops Algae Bioreactor as a Sustainable Energy Source:

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. – As a clean energy alternative, NASA invented an algae photo-bioreactor that grows algae in municipal wastewater to produce biofuel and a variety of other products. The NASA bioreactor is an Offshore Membrane Enclosure for Growing Algae (OMEGA), which won’t compete with agriculture for land, fertilizer, or freshwater.

NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., licensed the patent pending algae photo-bioreactor to Algae Systems, LLC, Carson City, Nev., which plans to develop and pilot the technology in Tampa Bay, Florida. The company plans to refine and integrate the NASA technology into biorefineries to produce renewable energy products, including diesel and jet fuel.

“NASA has a long history of developing very successful energy conversion devices and novel life support systems,” said Lisa Lockyer, deputy director of the New Ventures and Communication Directorate at NASA Ames. “NASA is excited to support the commercialization of an algae bioreactor with potential for providing renewable energy here on Earth.”

The OMEGA system consists of large plastic bags with inserts of forward-osmosis membranes that grow freshwater algae in processed wastewater by photosynthesis. Using energy from the sun, the algae absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and nutrients from the wastewater to produce biomass and oxygen. As the algae grow, the nutrients are contained in the enclosures, while the cleansed freshwater is released into the surrounding ocean through the forward-osmosis membranes.

“The OMEGA technology has transformational powers. It can convert sewage and carbon dioxide into abundant and inexpensive fuels,” said Matthew Atwood, president and founder of Algae Systems. “The technology is simple and scalable enough to create an inexpensive, local energy supply that also creates jobs to sustain it.”

When deployed in contaminated and “dead zone” coastal areas, this system may help remediate these zones by removing and utilizing the nutrients that cause them. The forward-osmosis membranes use relatively small amounts of external energy compared to the conventional methods of harvesting algae, which have an energy intensive de-watering process.

Potential benefits include oil production from the harvested algae, and conversion of municipal wastewater into clean water before it is released into the ocean. After the oil is extracted from the algae, the algal remains can be used to make fertilizer, animal feed, cosmetics, or other valuable products.

This successful spinoff of NASA-derived technology will help support the commercial development of a new algae-based biofuels industry and wastewater treatment.

For more information about NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program, and NASA technology infusion activities, visit: http://bit.ly/7gGCTo