Algae the New Oil – 2010 Forecast

The Futurist’s Magazine’s Top 10 forecasts for 2010 says Algae may become the new oil. According to researchers at a Department of Energy plant in New Mexico, single-celled microalgae, grown in pond water, produce a biofuel that is lead-free and biodegradable, emits two-thirds less carbon dioxide and other pollutants than gasoline, and can run any modern diesel engine. Even better, algae require only a fraction of the land area of biofuel-producing crops.

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Advanced Biofuel Workshop

BBI International and the 2010 Advanced Biofuels Workshop planning committee welcomes presenters to St. Louis for this convenient one-day workshop on advanced biofuels. More than 400 people are expected to attend to learn about advanced technology updates, algae and second-generation feedstock development, market challenges and trends, R&D activities, policy, finance, project development and more.

Presentation ideas may be related to production, operations, R&D, project development, finance, business, feedstock development, resource analysis, environmental performance or any other topic pertaining to the commercialization of advanced biofuels.   Deadline for submission is January 11, 2010.

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First commercial scale Algae farm in USA

In Texas, PetroSun will open the first US commercial-scale algae farm for biofuels near South Padre Island.

The 1,831 acre site includes 157 separate ponds, and the company said that extraction of algae from water and oil from algae were studied and solved at the company’s pilot farm in Opelika, Alabama. PetroSun said that results from the pilot farm demonstrated a yield of between 5,000 and 8,000 gallons per acre, or a potential oil production of 9-15 Mgy at the South Padre Island facility.

Algae-based research and development continues to pick up in pace, even though the US Defense Department is estimating that the current production cost of algae oil exceeds $20 per gallon.

Recent developments include:

Netherlands, AlgaeLink announced a new process for extracting algae without using chemicals, drying or an oil press.

The company said that its patent-pending technique uses 26 kilowatts of power to produce 12,000 gallons of algae oil per hour, with a yield of 50 percent from the initial algae paste.

In Texas, the state’s Emerging Technology Fund will provide $4 million to Texas AgriLife Research and General Atomics to conduct microalgae research and development.

In Virginia, researchers at Old Dominion University have successfully piloted a project to produce biodiesel feedstock by growing algae at municipal sewage treatment plants. The pilot project is producing up to 70,000 gallons of biodiesel per year.

In Minnesota, Xcel Energy has pledged $150,000 to assist in funding an algae-to-biodiesel research project sponsored by the University and the Metropolitan Council.

The US Department of Energy recently partnered with Chevron in a research effort to develop higher-yield strains of micro algae.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working on a project with Honeywell, General Electric and the University of North Dakota.

In Texas, US Sustainable Energy is awaiting lab results from a test of biocrude production using 20 pounds of algae as a feedstock. The company recently ran its initial test of 20 pounds of 5% oil-content algae feedstock with 40 percent water content, and resulted in an ignitable oil product.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

A lot more action is expected in the future.

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Omega3 from Algae oil

Omega 3 algae oil is a relatively new product that has some decided benefits over other omega 3 supplements. Most people take fish oil in order to get adequate amounts of omega 3, and those who prefer not to take fish oil usually take flaxseed oil. These are not the only omega 3 supplements, but they are the most frequently used ones. Omega 3 from algae oil may replace both of them.

Although fish oil from reputable companies is regarded as safe, long term exposure through supplementation is often feared since trace pollutants from ocean ecosystems contaminate both fresh caught and farm-raised fish that feed on or are fed marine organisms. But now, golden microalgae oil is ready to replace medical fish oil for heart and brain health supplement needs.

Some types of fish contain relatively high levels of mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs], dioxins and other environmental contaminants. In general, older, larger predatory fish contain the highest level of contaminants. Fish can also contain significant levels of methyl mercury, considered one of the more dangerous food contaminants today. Can docosahexaenoic acid omega-3 (DHA)-rich microalgae oil function as a universal fish oil alternative?

Good for vegetarians! Concern over fish depletion in the oceans is also addressed by algae oil becoming source for omega 3.

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Ecological effects of Brown seaweed harvesting

Read: http://bit.ly/6FgUbx

Algae – Hydrogen

Transgenic Algae for Photobiological Hydrogen Production

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Algae Batteries

The algae-based paper sheet batteries hold up to 200% more charge than regular paper-based cellulose batteries, and they can recharge in as little as 11 seconds. Eventually, they could be used in any application that requires flexible electronics — for example, clothing or packaging that lights up. Perhaps most importantly, the algae batteries could one day cut down on e-waste from conventional metal batteries.

More: http://bit.ly/8HfuUG