Deep sea Algae connect ancient climate



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.

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German – Indian CO2 capture experiment

“After just four days, the team observed a significant increase in algae,” said Bathmann. “It was a surprise that they reproduced so quickly.”

In the previous experiments, it took 10 to 14 days for this to happen. The haptophytes had responded to fertilization most.

“Other algae types barely increased or did not increase at all,” he said.

Haptophytes are common in coastal waters and blooms sometimes lead to them washing up on beaches as a foam. Tiny animals, the zooplankton, feed on them.

“Those organisms will eat a large part of the algae,” said the scientist, explaining that the zooplankton would breathe the carbon dioxide back into the surface water, instead of the gas sinking as dead algae to the ocean bottom.

“At the moment, the algae are reproducing faster that than the zooplankton can eat them,” he said. “The exciting question in the next few weeks will be how much of the algae will be left over.

Extraction from Macro algae

Having economic and ecological interest, algae are cultivated with the aid of buoys, in areas where the wind and the current are not strong. Among the most common species are Kappaphycus, Gelidium, Gigardina, Gracilaria, Encheuma, Hypmea and Pterocladia. During growth, the algae selectively assimilate many of the minerals contained in water. They photosynthesize and synthesize the carbohydrate polymer that constitutes the structural framework of the alga body, which may be agar-agar, carrageen or others polymers.

The most known substances extracted from macro-algae are of three types: alginates, extracted from chestnut algae; agar-agar and carrageens, extracted from varies species of red algae. The agar-agar is a mucilage (vegetable gelatin) constituted of agarose and agaropectin polymers.

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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.


Bioenergy Australia 2009 Highlights

CSIRO’s leading bioenergy scientists will share their latest research on new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at “Bioenergy Australia 2009” starting today on the Gold Coast.


DOE emphasises on Algae Development

The U.S. DOE is developing a National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap to assess the current state of algae technology and determine how to commercialize algae-to-biofuel processes. The agency intends to focus on developing advanced drop-in biofuels, such as those that are being developed from algae, in a more accelerated fashion than cellulosic ethanol.