As the founder of the Bay Area networking group, Women In Cleantech & Sustainability, I am keenly interested in learning about who the media thinks as being the most influential women in the field. However, it feels like every top ten list for women in Cleantech always lists the same lovely ladies. This is not […]
Algae Biofuels – Not Sustainable (Another Response to “Could Algae be the New Corn?” by Julia Verdi)
Last week, Frank Ciampa, posted Algal Biodiesel: Pros and Cons, his response to Could Algae be the New Corn?, written by Julia Verdi. This week, Eamon Keane, responds to Julia’s post, explaining why he does not feel that algae biofuels is a good alternative to oil.
The following is a response to the article Could Algae be the New Corn? by Julia Verdi. She raised the following questions… Does Algae pose the same risks as corn? Are biofuels the wrong way to go when it comes to identifying fuel sources?
All during this month we have been spotlighting the achievements of women in green careers. So far, we have profiled 29 women who are excelling in solar and wind power, sustainability, and conservation. Today, we are showcasing women who have found success in the cleantech sector in the United States. While men dominate in pretty […]
Studies show that corn based ethanol may nearly double greenhouse gas emissions instead of reducing them. Does Algae pose the same risks as corn? Are biofuels the wrong way to go when it comes to identifying fuel sources?
NASA scientists from the Moffet Field laboratory in California have proposed an ingenious process to grow algal biofuels in the ocean enclosed within large floating bags made of a special semi-permeable clear plastic membrane. Growing algae in floating bags in the sea solves several major problems that are faced by current land based methods of algal biofuel production in an elegant low energy, low impact manner. This is the kind of out of the box thinking that is needed in order to grow the green economy. Now, in updated news NASA engineers and industry veterans have launched a company, Algae Systems, to commercialize the process.
On August 11, the Financial Times reported on the promise of “synthetic biology,” including the development of algae that generates biofuels. In July, ExxonMobil entered into a $600 million venture with Synthetic Genomics, a firm founded by biotech pioneer Dr. Craig Venter. “Synthetic Genomics has already engineered strains of algae that secrete oil from their cells,” writes the FT’s Clive Cookson. Will oil companies transform themselves into algae companies? Or, a few years from now, could the makers of “Who Killed the Electric Car?” film a sequel about algae?
Algenol Biofuels and DOW Announce Pilot Project to Produce Ethanol from CO2, Salt Water, Sunlight and non-Arable Land
Algenol Biofuels, a Florida biofuels startup and DOW Chemical Company announced a pilot-scale algae-based integrated biorefinery that will convert CO2 into ethanol. The patented technology developed by Algenol Biofuels uses CO2, salt water, sunlight and non-arable land to produce ethanol, which can be used as a fuel or as a feedstock, replacing natural gas in the production of plastic. The algae is grown in long plastic covered troughs, called bioreactors that are filled with salt water that has been saturated with carbon dioxide gas, which provides the carbon the algae needs for photosynthesis.
The San Diego region, home to several world class research universities and institutes as well more than 500 biotechnology companies, is on its way to becoming a major center for renewable energy development, especially in the area of biofuels. Biofuel’s are a natural extension that compliments San Diego’s already vibrant life science cluster. This regional potential was given a boost with the establishment of the new the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology, or “SD-CAB.” The primary goal of the center will be to create a national facility capable of developing and implementing innovative research solutions for the commercialization of fuel production from algae.