Microalgae oil prevents Heart attack

DHA-microalgae oil proves to be better source of EPA, when compared to flax seed oil. This isbecause ALA from flax must be converted into DHA then converted into EPA, whereas, DHA from microalgae only has to be converted into EPA. That is one less enzymatic step to go through!In one study, vegetarians that do not have enough EPA and DHA, supplemented with 1 gram of microalgae oil derived DHA per day for eight weeks, and significantly increased their levels of both DHA and EPA (Lipids 40 (8): 807-814).

These results indicate that DHA derived from microalgae is a very good source of DHA and EPA compared to ALA derived from flax oil. Given the fact that DHA from algae oil is an exceedingly better vegetarian source of omega-3 fatty acids, the question is, does it have the same health benefits as fish oil?

The answer is yes.

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PetroSun launches First US commercial scale Algae farm for Biofuel

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.

Read More: http://bit.ly/7NFp1u

WSU Researcher helping turn Algae to Fuel

PULLMAN, Wash.—There are a lot of things standing in the way of Shulin Chen’s quest to make energy from algae, the simple, light-loving organisms we usually associate with pond scum, seaweed and deck slime.

But in a world of rising greenhouse gases and dwindling energy options, he’s forging ahead.

“We don’t have other choices,” said Chen, a professor of biological systems engineering. “We have to do it. We make progress one step at a time but I believe eventually we’re going to have a biofuel industry using algae. We have to. There’s little other option.”

His effort took a significant step towards reality this week with word of a $2 million federal appropriation to develop energy-rich algae, the technology to grow them all year, and a way to convert them into fuel and other products. The funding was secured with the help of U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., through the 2010 Senate Energy and Water Development appropriations bill and will go to the Washington State Algae Alliance, comprised of WSU, Targeted Growth Inc. of Seattle and Inventure Chemical of Gig Harbor.

As a potential fuel source, microalgae are hard to beat. They grow fast, doubling their mass several times a day. They take up a fraction of the space required to grow other biofuels. And loaded with fat, they are the fried-cheese of the biofuel world.

“The idea of fuel from algae is accepted,” said Chen. “The challenge is to make it work.”

For now, it’s too expensive to produce algae-based fuel—the equivalent of $10- to $30-a-gallon gas.

The solar energy they use is free, but they also require water and fertilizer. An algae production system also needs energy to pump water, carbon-dioxide and nutrients while removing wastes. Those processes right now use a lot more energy than algae produces, said Chen.

Still, he says, there’s no choice but to make algae work.

“With electricity, we have alternative sources,” Chen said. “We can do hydropower. We can do solar energy. We can do wind energy. But liquid transportation fuel is something where we don’t have other options. We have to get that from biomass, either from crop residues or algae. Crop residues are a good source but limited. Algae has the highest potential.”

Demand for algae-based fuel is likely to be driven first by the need to capture carbon dioxide, the most abundant global-warming gas, from producers like coal plants. Development could also be supported by algae byproducts—proteins and polysaccharides that can be used in feed or health-oriented foods and supplements called “nutraceuticals.” These can help drive production costs down until other energy costs rise to make large-scale fuel production worthwhile.

Chen, who has patents pending on several algae culture, harvesting and nutrient-recycling systems, plans to use the federal money to improve ways to produce and process algae. He says WSU is currently one of the major players among universities in this relatively new field.

“The money we’re receiving will put us one step up,” he said, “and make us a lot more competitive to become a leader in this area.”

Read More: http://bit.ly/7drYww

Algal oil Extraction

Microalgae may be a promising source of feedstock for bio fuels because of a) their high lipid/oil contents (40 to 60% of dry weight); b) high specific growth rates (1 to 3 doubling time per day); c) the ability to thrive in saline/brackish water and utilize nutrients (N, P, and CO2) from waste-streams (e.g., wastewater and flue gases from fossil fuel-fired power plants) for growth, and use marginal lands (desert, arid- and semi-arid lands) for wide-scale production all year around; and d) co-production of value-added products (e.g., biopolymers, proteins, polysaccharide, pigments). However, algal oils studied for biofuels so far are rather similar in chemical and physical properties to that of common crop oils, which are enriched with C16 to Cl 8 fatty acids/esters.

The present invention provides methods for producing algal medium chain length fatty acids or hydrocarbons.

Read More: http://bit.ly/7yeFPd

Algae Oil Extraction Chemical Methods PPT EBook Download

Read: http://www.osun.org/chemical+extraction+process-ppt.html

Imagining 2020: Green Crude

This is very interesting!
The fourth contribution to the Imagining 2020 series of essays comes from Pete Fowler, who takes a look at producing biofuel from algae as a sustainable means of meeting our liquid fuel needs.
I was very pessimistic until last year about our prospects of weaning off fossil fuels before reaching an irreversible tipping point. Some positive feedback loop would kick in, like higher temperatures releasing trapped methane from arctic permafrost and seafloor sediments.
Increased atmospheric methane, about 30 times as potent a greenhouse gas as CO2, would further raise temperatures.
End result?
Within a few decades Earth would be as hot as Venus. The whole of humanity would go the way of the civilisations described by Jared Diamond in Collapse, who could see they were on a track to self destruction but were unable to alter course.
In 2008 I read one of the most positive books ever written; The Singularity Is Near, by Ray Kurzweil.
He points out that whichever way you measure the rate of technological change, it accelerates exponentially.
Moore’s law for instance predicted in 1965 that artificial intelligence would double in complexity and halve in cost every two years. It’s held for the last 44 years, and if it continues to hold until 2020, we’ll then have machines approaching human intelligence.
Kurzweil maintains that right now, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and robotics are the main drivers of technological advance. The production of crude oil from atmospheric CO2 and water will be mostly a triumph of genetic engineering.
Nature took hundreds of millions of years to produce the crude oil which, in about 200 years, we’ll have exhausted. If we can speed up this process, and produce all our liquid fuels and chemical industry feedstocks, and some stock feed and human food from atmospheric CO2 and waste, by a process many times as efficient as farming, without diverting farmland or native bush, on the same timescale as the rate at which we deplete fossil fuel, we’ll have solved the problems of peak oil and global warming, and a few lesser problems.
Conventional biofuel production isn’t particularly efficient. It requires fuel inputs for farm vehicles, and it either diverts farmland away from food production or destroys native bush.
Only an average 300 watts per square metre world wide of sunlight is available for photosynthesis, and natural photosynthesis isn’t a very efficient way to convert sunlight to chemical energy.
The most efficient fuel crop is sugar cane, fermented to ethanol.
It yields up to three harvests a year. But it’s labour and land intensive, requires fuel for farm machinery and transport, it increases the cost of food and only grows in the tropics. Because all conventional crops need further processing in different places before they reach the petrol pump or dinner table, their total number of carbon kilometres is typically several times the distance round the world.
What’s needed is a continuous process, not a batch process like conventional harvesting.
The world is running out of land suitable for conversion to farming.
An algae reactor can be set up on land which is unsuitable for farming or anything else, and can still produce more than 15 times as much fuel per hectare as canola or palms.
Unlike natural crude, it can yield a product free of contaminants like nitrogen, sulphur or benzene.
The first generation will use sunlight for their energy source, but later, as energy sources like pebble bed fission reactors and ultimately nuclear fusion become available, these will drastically increase yield.
Some natural cyanobacteria can double their mass every hour. With genetic engineering, high temperature varieties, and varieties which fix their own nitrogen from the atmosphere are possible. The obvious raw materials to use are untreated sewage and atmospheric CO2, helping to solve two environmental problems.
Eventually, when energy sources other than sunlight are available, the demand for sewage will outstrip supply, and other sources of micronutrients will be needed.
But as with conventional agriculture, micronutrients are in principle recyclable.
All you need is a way to reclaim elements like phosphorus, sulphur, iron, molybdenum and the rest.
This is feasible with a bioreactor producing algae, but not on a conventional farm, where they drain away, and not only are they wasted, but they cause problems like nitrate in drinking water and eutrophication in waterways.
The only high tech part of producing green crude is the final step; converting algae into oil. There’s no reason why bioreactors can’t be operated in the world’s poorest countries, as well as everywhere else where a demand for the products exists.
Being a factory, rather than an outdoor farm operation, it can be conducted close to population centres, or anywhere else. CO2 is available everywhere, and low-grade water supplies unfit for human consumption, almost everywhere.
An obvious location for a bioreactor is right next to a thermal power station, where there’s waste CO2, waste heat and transmission loss free electricity, but in principle one can operate anywhere.
The algae is harvested continuously, 24/7. Currently four technologies exist to extract the oil:
Dry the algae and press the oil out. This is the simplest method.
Dissolve the oil in a supercritical fluid like CO2 at high pressure. When pressure is reduced the oil separates out and the CO2 is reused. This is the most promising method.
Hexane solvent. Hexane, a hydrocarbon similar to petrol, dissolves the oil. The hexane is then separated from the oil and reused.
Ultrasound breaks open the algae cells, and the oil is pressed out.
The remaining dry matter is a high protein stock feed.
A bioreactor producing algae which are processed into liquid fuels, foods and petrochemicals, is a machine for converting waste, including CO2, into essential commodities which are getting scarcer every year. The only input needed is energy. It’s a closed loop. There is no waste and no collateral damage to the environment.

Sapphire Energy gets $104.5 m to develop Green Crude

Sapphire Energy has been awarded a $104.5-million Recovery Act grant to continue its algae fuel research. The grant awarded comes from the Biorefinery Assistance Program, authorized through the 2008 Farm Bill. The San Diego-based company will use the grant to construct an “Integrated Algal Biorefinery” facility in Luna County, N.M. Sapphire Energy is working to develop “green crude” – or algae biofuel – that can be used as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel

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