Algae Biodiesel – Fuel of the 21st century

The potential of biodiesel to revolutionize our energy industry is enormous, not to mention the economic opportunities for farming nations that depend on the agricultural industry to survive. Many of these nations have begun to plant many acres of oil rich crops that are then sold to make biodiesel all over the world.

The real opportunity for biodiesel to save our energy dependent society lies in algae. Algae has proven to be capable of a higher yield per acre of biodiesel convertible oil than any other plant. With time and effective engineering of an efficient algae farming method, we will be able to utilize the solar energy more efficiently than ever, and we will easily be able to answer the worlds energy needs with biodiesel.

Biodiesel may not be the holy grail of energy sources, but it comes pretty close in these times of oil wars and a rapidly depleted ozone layer. Perhaps you should look into biodiesel as your personal alternative fuel today. The more informed we are as a society, the brighter the future may be for our children.

What’s more Biodiesel is not the fuel of tomorrow, I dare to say it is the fuel of today.

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Solazyme – Top Company in Bioenergy

Solazyme, Inc., a renewable oil and bioproducts company using algal biotechnology, is ranked number one among the 2009-10 “50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy” rankings, published today in Biofuels Digest, the world’s most widely read biofuels daily. The award, which more than 1400 companies were eligible for, recognizes innovation and achievement in bioenergy.

“It’s an honor for Solazyme to be selected for this award in such an important industry publication,” said Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme. “Our team works hard every day to address the world’s critical need for energy alternatives, and to be recognized for our achievements is fantastic.”

Solazyme achieved a number of milestones in 2009 in its quest to use microalgae biotechnology to produce clean and scalable fuels, “green” chemicals, nutritionals and wellness products. Notable achievements include:

Closing a $57 million Series C financing round:
Winning two U.S. Department of Defense Navy contracts for jet fuel and ship fuel which constitute the largest quantity of fuel derived from algae or any microbial fuel to date  Completing a “field-to-wheels” carbon dioxide analysis which concluded that Solazyme’s algal biofuel, Soladiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions 85 to 93 percent when compared with petroleum-based diesel.

Being awarded a California Energy Commission PIER grant to develop fuel from cellulosic material. Announcing a formal commitment to commercialize algal renewable oil production technology for food and fuel at the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative.

Welcoming energy and government experts R. James Woolsey, TJ Glauthier and Donald Kennedy to Solazyme’s leadership team.

In 2009, Solazyme also took home the San Francisco Business Times’ Bay Area Green Business Award in Renewable Fuels, the TiE50 Top Cleantech Start-Up award, was named to the UK Guardian Global Cleantech 100 and was one of two companies presented with the “Green Leap” distinction at the Clinton Global Initiative.

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The dangers of using GE on Algae

Genetic engineers are also involved in efforts to produce biodiesel from microalgae.

Such fuel production would obviate the need to take farmland production away from food crops, and GE proponents promise huge fuel yields from engineered algae.

But despite more than 100 companies already founded to produce biodiesel from algae, not a single commercial facility has been built. Indeed, like the wild plants proposed for plant seems particularly resistant to engineering. cellulosic biofuels, genetic experiments on algae are in very early stages, and so far, the

Finally, genetic engineers have re-branded their technology as “synthetic biology.” Called “genetic engineering on steroids,” and risks of the traditional GE approach, the difference being added complexity through attempting to insert simultaneously many DNA sequences for a variety of traits.

Synthetic biology proponents suggest the technology will produce unlimited quantities of fully lab-created biofuels, from enhanced microbes that will more efficiently produce ethanol, butanol or biodiesel.

But like earlier GE creations, products of synthetic biology will likely suffer unpredictable side-effects due to the unpredictable nature of the living organisms used as raw materials. Likewise, products of synthetic biology are created without regard to the influence of genetic factors outside of DNA (proteins, RNA and other genetic material), and may face unforeseeable problems.

Like earlier biotech promises of high yielding crops grown with fewer pesticides, the promises of life from fully inert materials will prove equally false, and potentially even more dangerous.

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Algae – $1.9 Trillion Opportunity

Turning  algae into fuel, i.e. algal oil, on a commercial scale, could become one of the most significant technological and economic events of the early 21st century. If this feat is accomplished, and it’s not certain it will be, it will have dramatic, disruptive consequences to oil producers, oil refiners, ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels producers, biotechnology companies, agricultural producers, consumers, motor vehicle makers, regulators, R&D activities and investors, among others.

Since algal oil offers a direct potential replacement for petroleum and plant-derived oils, the market opportunity is tremendous.

This is according to a recent report from Amadee+Company: Algae For Fuel, Algal Oil, Biofuels, Biodiesel, Ethanol And The Future Of Petroleum And Green Energy: Global Markets, Technologies, And Opportunities: 2009-2020 Analysis and Forecasts.

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Heating oil industry makeover

Many farmers have started to grow a “next-generation biofuel” like algae. In fact, many are talking up algae as a major potential source of energy; some have forecasted that algae could produce 5,000 gallons of biodiesel per acre, a much higher rate of return than other biofuels. If algae does become a primary energy source, this would almost certainly have an effect on heating oil. Many states, as well as the industry’s major trade group, will require heating oil to have a percentage of biofuel in its mix.

Bio fuels can change the scene in the heating oil industry.

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