Monday, March 4, 2013

Algae - the best feedstock for next generation biofuels


Micro algae are by many considered as the most promising next generation biofuel feedstock. 
Why algae
Algasol Renewables is a technology company with a unique technology for low-cost production of micro algae biomass in a closed environment. The technology is a flexible multi-compartment photobioreactor floating on water that can be deployed both on land in ponds or in the ocean. A patent pending in national phase in all relevant PCT countries covers all key aspects of the technology.  More about technology »
As testimony to its success, Algasol Renewables has recently been awarded the 2010 Global Algae Biofuels Green Excellence in Technology Innovation of the Year Award from the international consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.

The team behind Algasol Renewables is a firm believer that no single company will be able to deliver an end-to-end solution for cost competitive production of micro algae biomass. Rather, this will be a collective effort amongst different industry participants.

The activities of Algasol Renewables are focused solely on commercializing its unique photobioreactor technology for low-cost production of micro algae biomass. Considering the focused strategy and to maximize speed of the commercialization process, Algasol Renewables pursues an active partnership strategy. More about strategy »

Algasol Renewables’ objective is to have the world’s largest and most cost-efficient operating micro algae photobioreactor plant.
Algasol is collaborating with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Pall Corporation, the University of Michigan (UM), and Fluid Imaging Technologies (FIT) to demonstrate the production of commercial-scale volumes of algae biocrude.

Led by Professor Christer Jansson (LBNL, DOE) the cross-sectoral consortium is currently in fund-raising mode and plans to integrate midstream technologies and processes to show:
Strain optimization 
Enhanced productivity/yields and cultivation techniques 
CO2 transfer rates 
Real time growth analytics 
Improvements in pre-processing technologies 
Affordable and sustainable algae biomass production
Beyond enhanced yields, Algasol is excited to demonstrate that its globally-patented PBR technology will produce the most cost- (CAPEX/OPEX) and resource-efficient algae biomass per hectare per year.
About Professor Christer Jansson (LBNL)
Dr. Christer Jansson is a recognized leader in the biochemistry and metabolic engineering of microorganisms. Dr. Jansson holds the position of Senior Staff Scientist and Deputy Program Lead in Bioenergy at the Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Prior to that he was Head of the Department of Plant Biology & Forest Genetics, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden, where he held the Professor Chair in Molecular Cell Biology from 1999-2008. During 1994-1999, he was Professor in Biochemistry at the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, Stockholm University. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Lund University, Sweden, and completed his postdoctoral research at the Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University. Dr. Jansson's research revolves around plant, algal, and cyanobacterial biochemistry and molecular biology. Specific areas of interest are photosynthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, metabolic engineering of plants and cyanobacteria for biofuels and carbon sequestration. He has published more than 100 papers in journals and books and supervised a large number of graduate students and postdocs. Dr. Jansson has served on several research panels and committees, including the Swedish Research Council for Natural Sciences (VR) and the Committee for Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences (KVA). He is on the Scientific Advisory Board for the biofuel company Kiverdi, Inc.

About Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory conducting unclassified scientific research. LBNL is located on the grounds of the University of California, Berkeley, in the Berkeley Hills above the central campus. It is managed and operated by the University of California for the DOE. LBNL performs world-acclaimed research in areas from nano-technology, synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and cell biology, to bioenergy, carbon sequestration, and environmental engineering, to geochemistry. LBNL resources include the DOE-supported user facilities such as the Advanced Light Source (ALS), the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM), the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), the Molecular Foundry, and the Center for Radiotracer Development and Imaging Technology.

About Pall Corporation
Pall Corporation (NYSE:PLL) provides filtration and separation technologies for the oil and gas industry, refineries, alternative energy, chemical and petrochemical plants and polymer producers. Pall's solutions help to ensure product quality and protect consumers while lowering operating costs and minimizing waste. Their technologies also enable the production of clean, sustainable energy sources, while also enabling water recycling and reuse. Pall's Algae Separation & Concentration Filter (ASCF) technology utilizes proprietary hollow fiber membranes with outstanding regeneration capabilities. The robust fibers coupled with unique system designs developed by Pall ensure consistent performance and reliability that can be scaled up for commercial installations. The membranes will not foul while processing the algae and provide 100% algae harvesting yields.

About University of Michigan
Dr. Phil Savage's lab in the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan has been conducting research on hydrothermal processing of algal biomass.  They have focused on understanding and modeling the reaction chemistry along with developing and testing improved hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) process concepts.  Their recent work has demonstrated "fast HTL", which produces high yields of biocrude from wet algal biomass in just one minute of processing time.  Savage is a fellow of both the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

About Fluid Imaging Technologies
Fluid Imaging produces industry-leading particle analysis instrumentation based upon digital imaging technology. The FlowCAM®, first manufactured in 1999, was the first automated particle analysis instrument to use digital imaging for measuring size and shape of microscopic particles in a fluid medium. With applications in oceanographic research, municipal water, pharmaceutical formulations, chemicals, biofuels and many other markets, Fluid Imaging continues to lead the way in imaging particle analysis. FlowCAM customers include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. EPA, U.S. Naval Research Labs, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, The Bureau of Reclamation and Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, among many others worldwide.


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