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Friday, July 07, 2006

Another Company Enters the Algae-based Biofuels Game

A new compnay, Algae BioFuels, is entering the algae-based biofuels arena, according to a post on [REA]. The company, a wholly owned subsidiary recently formed by PetroSun Drilling, will be engaged in the research and development of algae cultivation as an energy source in the production of biodiesel, which, according to their press release, is an economically feasible and eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based transportation fuels.

The R&D and production facilities for Algae BioFuels will be based in Arizona and Australia.

"PetroSun's formation of Algae BioFuels is a forward-looking strategy," said L. Rayfield Wright, president of PetroSun. "The opportunity to produce a renewable energy product that will assist in providing a healthier planet for future generations cannot be ignored."

Extensive research is currently being conducted to determine the utilization of microalgae as an energy source, with applications being developed for biodiesel, ethanol, methanol, methane and even hydrogen. Independent studies have demonstrated that algae is capable of producing 30 times more oil per acre than the current crops now utilized for the production of biofuels. Algae biofuel contains no sulfur, is non-toxic and highly biodegradable. [The DOE's biodiesel from algae research program is summarized here].

The Office of Fuels Development, a division of the Department of Energy, funded a program from 1978 through 1996 under the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) known as the "Aquatic Species Program." The focus of this program was to investigate high-oil algae that could be grown specifically for the purpose of wide-scale biodiesel production. According to the release, some species of algae are ideally suited to biodiesel production due to their high oil content, in excess of 50%, and extremely rapid growth rates.

Algae BioFuels joins at least two other companies developing algae-based biofuel products - GreenFuel Technologies Corporation and the cleantech business development company GreenShift (who is licensing technology developed at Ohio University). Both GreenFuel and GreenShift are developing algal bioreactors designed to feed off of waste CO2 and heat from industrial processes and powerplants, effectively recycling the CO2 from industrial or power plant emissions into algae-based biofuels.

The Energy Blog has highlighted both company's technologies in the past and the posts can be found here (GreenFuel) and here (GreenShift). And for those of you who want more, is a whole site devoted to information and links on biofuels from algae.

[A hat tip to]


Anonymous said...

BioDiesol from algae is becoming a very real application and is being tested and used to produce on mass scales. The left over algae is used for animal feed and these can be set up all over the world.

One company that is the leader in this department is PetroSun a publicly traded company trading under the symbol: (OTC: PSUD)

Petrosun has already began to set up a large facility in the State of Alabama and is working with the University directly.

PetroSun, Incorporated (PINKSHEETS: PSUD) announced today that the Company has filed the Articles of Incorporation for AL-G-BAMA, Incorporated with the State of Alabama. The Company was formed as the result of recent meetings with officials from the State of Alabama, Auburn University and private interests regarding the cultivation of algae for the purpose of biofuel and animal feed production within the state. PetroSun holds an eighty percent equity position in AL-G-BAMA with the balance held by private parties from Alabama.

The initial pilot plant will be located in Opelika, Alabama. The purpose of this facility is to test both open and closed algae growth systems for commercial viability. The Company will also test extraction and refining technology from several manufacturers during the field trials.

Algae BioFuels, a PetroSun wholly owned subsidiary, will license technology to AL-G-BAMA and joint operate the facility with the other equity partners.

This could be a very interesting company to follow as developments unfold.

Anonymous said...

Interesting article!

This is a very promising new technology. I have an article on algae as a biofuel available here:

Let me know what you think