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Serb Scientists "Stressing" Algae for Biodiesel Production (R&D)
University of Belgrade Institute for Multidisciplinary Research
Date: 2019-07-26
Serbian scientists at the University of Belgrade's Institute for Multidisciplinary Research report they have increased the production of lipids in algae by around 30 pct through the method of "positive stressing" with sunlight which could contribute to the use of algae as a biological fuel and thus lower the price of biodiesel . The Institute already produces oxygen from microalgae.

Under the title of Radiation Hormesis in the Service of Increasing Biomass Yields from Microalgae the project began in 2017, under the NATO programme Science for Peace and Security in cooperation with the University of Manchester, Baylor University in Texas, and UK-based Varicon Aqua Company which produces bioreactors and systems that grow microalgae.

The project is expected to be completed in August 2020. (Source: University of Belgrade Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Serbian Monitor, 24 July, 2019) Contact: University of Belgrade Institute for Multidisciplinary Research, Dr. Sonja Veljovic Jovanovic, Dir., +381-11/3555-258, Fax: +381-11/3055-289,,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Biodiesel,  

Carbon Sequestration via Next-Gen Bioreactor Tech (Ind. Report)
Date: 2019-03-20
Emissions Reduction Alberta reports it is supporting a LanzTech project that will demonstrate the company's next-generation microbubble bioreactor (MBR) technology, which will maximize the quantity of fuels produced per tonne of wood waste in an integrated biorefinery.

LanzaTech proposes to demonstrate the MBR by producing ethanol from the off-gas of forestry-residue pyrolysis in Alberta, with extended benefits for converting other resources such as industrial waste gases and agricultural residues using LanzaTech's gas fermentation platform. This project takes a major step towards creating value from new waste resources, such as gasified agricultural residues, and serving hard-to-decarbonize sectors, such as aviation (jet fuel from ethanol) and consumer goods (materials from fermentation-derived chemicals), according to Emissions Reductions Alberta.(Source: Emissions Reductions Alberta, News Website, 12 Mar., 2019) Contact: Emissions Reduction Alberta, (780)498-2068,,; LanzaTech, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, (630) 439-3050,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News LanzaTech,  Carbon Sequestration,  Ethanol,  

First New Winery to Earn LEED Platinum Announced (Ind. Report)
Silver Oak Cellars
Date: 2018-07-18
In California's Napa Valley wine region, Silver Oak Cellars reports it has earned US Green Building Council LEED Platinum certification for its new Alexander Valley facility -- the first commercial winery in the world to attain the green-building program's highest level of recognition in the category of "new construction." Silver Oak's scored LEED Platinum in the "existing building" category in 2016.

Demand for sustainably produced wines has increased over the past five to 10 years, according to research group Wine Opinions.

The new Silver Oaks winery employs: "membrane bioreactors" that treat water used in the winemaking processes for a 4,700 gpd savings; more than 2,500 solar panels with battery energy storage capacity equal to 5 pct of the facility's energy requirements. Silver Oak earned credits toward certification by using salvaged, recycled and locally sourced materials to meet significant percentages of building costs. Silver Oak will also submit to auditing for the Living Building Challenge, a rigorous sustainable-design certification program for which a building must demonstrate it meets its performance goals over 12 months (Source: Silver Oak Cellars, Wine Spectator, 17 July, 2018) Contact: Silver Oak Cellars, USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500,

More Low-Carbon Energy News LEED Certification,  USGBC,  Energy Efficiency,  

Aemetis Touts Cellulosic Ethanol Demo Success (Ind. Report)
Date: 2018-03-07
Cupertino, California-headquartered advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals producer Aemetis, Inc. is reporting the completion and and operated of an integrated demonstration unit for more than 120 days of continuous operations with 94% uptime, meeting the requirements for a USDA 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program guaranteed loan.

In partnership with its key technology providers InEnTec and LanzaTech, Aemetis optimized the integration of an advanced arc furnace and gas fermentation technologies to convert waste biomass into low carbon, renewable cellulosic ethanol and fish meal. The unit was built at the InEnTec Technology Center in Richland, Washington and demonstrated the fully integrated system, including biomass handling, gasification, gas clean up, waste treatment and distillation systems. With a 20-year feedstock supply agreement and a 55-year lease already signed, the 12 million gpy Riverbank plant is expected to begin operations in 2019.

For the demonstration unit, Aemetis used waste orchard wood and nut shells from almond and walnut trees as feedstock, gasified the biomass using a high temperature plasma gasification system to produce syngas, cooled and cleaned the syngas, and supplied the syngas to a patented gas fermentation bioreactor to produce an ethanol "broth" which was distilled to produce commercial grade ethanol.(Source: Aemetis Inc., PR, Newswire, 6 Mar., 2018)Contact: Aemetis, Satya Chillara, (408) 213-0939,,; LanzaTech, Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, (630) 439-3050,,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Aemetis,  Ethanol,  Cellulosic,  LanzaTech,  

Austrian Algae Biomass Plant Construction Underway (Int'l)
Date: 2018-01-31
Grambach, Austria-headquartered plant engineering specialist BDI-BioEnergy International AG reports its new subsidiary, BDI-BioLife GmbH has commenced construction of an industrial plant that will use a photobioreactor system to produce algae biomass in the Hartberg Ecopark, Styria, Austria.

The algae project is the company's first move into the food, pharma, and cosmetics industries. BDI-BioEnergy is focused on the production of biodiesel from a range of raw materials, including animal fats, cooking oil, and vegetable oil, using its Multi-Feedstock' process. (Source: BDI-BioEnergy, Labiotech, 30 Jan., 2018) Contact: BDI-BioEnergy International, +43 316 400 9100,

More Low-Carbon Energy News BDI-BioEnergy,  Algae,  Biodiesel,  

NUI Galway Leading Irish Ag Waste-to-Biofuel Project (R&D)
NUI Galway
Date: 2017-11-15
In Ireland, NUI Galway university reports it will lead a national effort to turn waste into biofuels, making Ireland more energy self-efficient. Research leader Prof. Piet Lens and his team are looking to use microbial life to to advance the £5 million project which is being funded by Science Foundation Ireland's (SFI) Research Professorship Programme. Lens will be looking to develop novel bioreactor concepts that will recover energy from agricultural and livestock waste and wastewater.

Technology is presently being developed that can take waste products such as methane and use them to produce fuel and other valuable products, while reducing pathogen levels and greenhouse gas emissions.

As part of his research, Lens will focus on finding new marine bacteria for potential energy generation, developing mathematical models for bioenergy production, creating new bioreactor configurations and then turning these ideas into a working product. Lens will collaborate nationally with research teams in NUI Galway, the MaREI and Beacon research centres, and the Energy and Dairy Processing Technology Centres. (Source: NUI Galway, Silicon Republic, 13 Nov., 2017) Contact: NUI Galway, Prof. Piet Lens, +353 91 524 411,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bioreactor,  Biofuel,  Biogas,  

Cornell Reports Bioreactor Algal Biofuel Breakthrough (Ind. Report)
Boyce Thompson Institute
Date: 2017-10-02
Cornell University's Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) and Texas A&M University researchers are reporting "algal droplet bioreactors on a chip", a new technology that may revolutionize the search for the perfect algal strain.

In the new technology, a single algal cell is captured in a droplet of water encapsulated by oil then millions of algal droplets squeeze onto a chip about the size of a quarter. Each droplet is a "micro-bioreactor", a highly controlled environment in which algal cells can grow and replicate for several days, forming a genetically homogenous colony that goes through its typical biological reactions, including the production of lipids.

The researchers first validated the chip system with algae known to grow faster or slower, or produce more or less lipid. They then screened 200,000 chemically mutated cells, identifying six mutants with both faster growth and higher lipid content. The screening, done on-chip, uses fluorescence detection of chlorophyll, representing total cell mass, and BODIPY, a fluorescent molecule that binds to lipids. All mutants with potential for improved growth or lipid production were recovered and verified off-chip.

The tools for improving throughput are already in development, including larger chips that can screen millions of droplets in one experiment.

With the discovery and development of much more efficient algal strains, commercial-scale production of biofuel from algae may finally be a realistic promise. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation. (Source: Cornell University, PR, Plant Direct, 28 Sept., 2017) Contact: Cornell Univ., George Lowery, (607) 255-2171,,; Texas A&M, Arum Han , (979) 845-9686; Boyce Thompson Institute, (607) 254-1234,

More Low-Carbon Energy News Algal,  Algae,  Algae Biofuel,  

DOE Reports Additional $8.8Mn for Algae Tech. Innovations (R&D)
Date: 2017-09-11
The U.S. Department of Energy is reporting the selection of four additional projects from the Productivity Enhanced Algae and ToolKits funding opportunity to receive up to $8.8 million for projects that will deliver high-impact tools and techniques for increasing the productivity of algae organisms in order to reduce the costs of producing algal biofuels and bioproducts. The funding for this initiative now totals over $16 million.

The organizations selected include:

  • The Colorado School of Mines, in partnership with Global Algae Innovations, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Colorado State University, will improve the productivity of wild algal strains using advanced directed evolution approaches in combination with high-performance, custom-built, solar simulation bioreactors;

  • The University of California, San Diego, will develop genetic tools, high-throughput screening methods, and breeding strategies for green algae and cyanobacteria, targeting robust production strains;

  • The University of Toledo, in partnership with Montana State University and the University of North Carolina, will cultivate microalgae in high-salinity and high-alkalinity media to achieve productivities without needing to add concentrated carbon dioxide;

  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will ecologically engineer algae to encourage growth of bacteria that efficiently remineralize dissolved organic matter to improve carbon dioxide uptake and simultaneously remove excess oxygen. (Source: US DOE BETO,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News DOE BETO,  Algae,  Algal Biofuel,  Algae Biofuel,  

  • UBC Touts New Biofuel Bioreactor Technology (New Prod & Tech)
    University of British Columbia Okanagan
    Date: 2017-07-14
    University of Britich Columbia (UBC) Okanagan School of Engineering. Assoc. Prof. Cigdem Eskicioglu is reporting the development of a fast and cost effective bioreactor for biofuels production. The research might hold the key to biofuels that are cheaper, safer and much faster to produce, according to a UBC release.

    "Methane is a biofuel commonly used in electricity generation and is produced by fermenting organic material. The process can traditionally take anywhere from weeks to months to complete, but with my collaborators from Europe and Australia we've discovered a new biomass pre-treatment technique that can cut that production time nearly in half," Prof. Eskicioglu claims.

    Starting with materials commonly found in agricultural or forestry waste -- including wheat straw, corn husks and Douglas fir bark -- Eskicioglu compared traditional fermentation processes with their new technique and found that Douglas fir bark in particular could produce methane 172 pct faster than before, Eskicioglu says.

    The new process pre-treats the initial organic material with carbon dioxide at high temperatures and pressures in water before the whole mixture is fermented. The new pre-treatment process uses equipment and materials that are already widely available at an industrial scale, so retrofitting existing bioreactors or building new miniaturized ones could be done cheaply and easily. In addition to producing biogas faster and cheaper, Eskicioglu says her new technique may also make methane production safer, Eskicioglu explains. (Source: University of British Columbia Okanagan , Public Relase, Contact: UBC Okanagan School of Engineering. Assoc. Prof., Cigdem Eskicioglu, Nathan Skolski Associate Director, Public Affairs , (250) 807-9926 ,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Bioreactor,  

    CO2 to Bioplastics: Beneficial Re-Use of Carbon Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants Using Microalgae R&D Scores $1.2Mn Funding (R&D, Funding)
    University of Kentucky,US DOE Office of Fossil Energy
    Date: 2017-03-03
    In Lexington, the University of Kentucky (UK) Centre for Applied Energy Research's (CAER) Biofuels and Environmental Catalysis Group is reporting receipt of $1.2 million in US DOE Office of Fossil Energy grant funding for research into utilizing coal-fired power plant CO2 emissions to develop bioplastics.

    The UK grant was one of seven projects to receive a total of $5.9 million for similar CO2 utilization projects.

    CO2 to Bioplastics: Beneficial Re-Use of Carbon Emissions from Coal-Fired Power Plants Using Microalgae, the University of Kentucky project is led by Mark Crocker, CAER associate director and chemistry professor. The UK CAER team has become a global leader in developing technology to capture carbon dioxide from coal-fired flue gas using microalgae, with subsequent conversion of the resulting algal biomass to bioplastics, biochemicals and biofuels. The CAER team will investigate a combined photobioreactor/pond cultivation process to decrease the cost of algae cultivation while developing a strategy to maximize value from the algal biomass. (Source: University of Kentucky, gasworld, 1 March 2017)Contact: University of Kentucky, Prof. Mark Crocker, (859) 257-0295,,; US DOE Office of Fossil Energy,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE Office of Fossil Energy,  Algae,  Biofuel,  CO2,  Bioplastic,  CO2,  

    PNNL Lab Investigating Algae as Biofuel Feedstock (R&D)
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
    Date: 2017-02-03
    Dr. Michael Huesemann, a lead researcher at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's (PNNL) Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim, Washington, is working on a $6 million, three-year algae Development of Integrated Screening, Cultivar Optimization and Validation Research (DISCOVR) project to identify the optimum algae for biofuel production.

    The project is being pursued at various laboratories in five stages as follows: In Tier I, scientists in Sequim and New Mexico test up to 30 different algae strains to see how weather tolerant they are and the top third will go to Tier II.

    In Tier II, Sequim houses a unique climate-simulating system called Laboratory Environmental Algae Pond Simulator (LEAPS) that simulates climates and seasons around the world inside glass cylinder photobioreactors. Two other labs will evaluate the algae to determine it value and other potential uses that could make algae biofuel production more cost-effective. Scientists also will research how resilient certain algae strains are to predators, like protozoans, and other competing algae.

    In Tier III, researchers in New Mexico will further test top-performing algae strains, which includes forcing cells to grow faster or generate more oils, using state-of-the-art laboratory techniques.

    In Tier IV, algae strains will travel to outdoor ponds in Arizona to compare biomass output with earlier steps.

    In Tier V, scientists will study the algae strains that performed the best in different lighting and temperature conditions. Study data will be added to PNNL's Biomass Assessment Tool to help researchers generate maps that illustrate the expected biomass productivity of each algae species grown in outdoor ponds nationwide. Laboratory officials said work that could stem from this project includes converting harvested algae into biofuels, examining operational changes such as crop rotation to further increase biomass growth and assessing the technical feasibility and economic costs of making biofuel from algae selected through this process.

    Algae project details are HERE. (Source: PNNL, Sequim Gazette, 2 Feb., 2017) Contact: PNNL: Marine Sciences Laboratory, (360) 683-4151,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Pacific Northwest National Laboratory,  Algae,  Biofuel,  

    GCC Algae Biofuel Prospects Market Opportunity, Key Trends 2014-2020 -- Report Available (Ind. Report)
    Future Market Insights
    Date: 2017-01-09
    According to Future Marketinsights' GCC Algae Biofuel Prospects Market Opportunity, Key Trends 2014-2020 report, half of algae's composition by weight is a lipid oil which been targeted to convert into biodiesel and other alternative fuels including biobutanol, bio-gasoline, methane, ethanol, hydrogen derived renewable fuel and jet fuel.

    The report finds that algae costs more per unit than other biofuel crops but is claimed to yield 10 to 100 times more fuel per unit area. In 2014, the prices of oil were between US $ 56 to US $ 120 per barrel. The cost of producing micro algal biomass in 2014 was $2.95/kg through photo bioreactors. If the annual biomass production capacity is increased to 1000 tons then the cost will reduce to $1.5/kg for a litre of crude oil.

    The extraction of biofuels from algae is largely dependent on organic solvents such as benzene. The companies that are working on innovating algal biofuel technology are Algenol Biofuels Inc., Blue Marble Productions, Solazyme Inc., Sapphire Energy Inc., Diversified Technologies Inc., Origin Oils Inc., Proviron Industries nv, Oilgae and Genifuel Corporation.

    Request Free Report Sample HERE. (Source: Future Market Insights, PR, Jan., 2017) Contact: Future Marketinsights, + 44 (0) 20 7692 8790, (347) 918-3531 ,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae Biofuel,  Algal,  Biodiesel,  Etanol,  Alternative Fuel,  

    Canada Touts Algae Biorefinery to Cut CO2 Emissions (Ind. Report)
    Pond Technologies,National Research Council of Canada
    Date: 2016-11-07
    In Ottawa, Natural Resources Canada (NRC) reports that its first algal biorefinery demonstration project, a collaborative research effort between the National Research Council of Canada's Algal Carbon Conversion program, Pond Technologies and Votorantim Cimentos' St Marys Cement, is revolutionizing the management of carbon emissions.

    The project uses a 25,000-liter photobioreactor within a pilot-scale algal biorefinery to recycle CO2 and other airborne industrial pollutants into algal biomass that can be further converted into renewable biofuels and biomaterials. The process being deployed by NRC experts and its partners is designed to rapidly recycle carbon dioxide and other airborne industrial emissions into biomass through photosynthesis. (Source: Natural Resources Canada, 3 Nov., 2016) Contact: National Research Council of Canada, (877) 672-2672,,; Pond Technologies. Steven Martin, CEO, (416) 287-3835,

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Algae,  Algae Biofuel ,  National Research Council of Canada,  

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