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October 07, 2006



So the algae oil cost around 1$/gallon, and will be mixed with a fuel oil selling in a 2-3$ range. Plus it will produce credits for CO2 emissions and a byproduct sellable for other pourposes (animal food or papermaking I suppose).


While this process does sequester CO2 when the oil is converted into biodiesel and burned in an engine, the CO2 is released. At least society will get a double energy usage for the same CO2.


Excellent project to combine with the fuel cell/turbine design. And that algae not converted to biodiesel can be used to produce methane to feed right back into a solid oxide fuel cell.

When these solar collector/algae growing units are mounted on roofs and southfacing walls of power plant and industrial buildings and even on other large buildings like malls, then enough liquid fuel could be produced to replace 10% of oil use.

Simultaneously electric plugin transportation could reduce all liquid fuel use to that level provided by algae systems. The cost of this liquid fuel is already less than one third of fossil oil products.

Why fight wars over it? Spend the money on renewable energy instead of oil wars.


"...the CO2 is released. At least society will get a double energy usage for the same CO2."

Good point, this is great news along with hybrid transportation that mainly uses battery electric power and uses liquid fuel in a fuel cell/microturbine backup generator.

By eliminating the internal combustion engine, and going with this much more efficient hybrid system, 90% of CO 2 and other emissions from cars, trucks, buses, trains, construction and farm equipment, and even airplanes could be curtailed.

But powering the present internal combustion based transportation energy economy with biodiesel algae will not work.

Ronald Brak

Depending on the inputs needed I guess the cheapest place to build these algea vats would be on sunny wasteland or former grazing land. I am hopeful that the process will be economically worthwhile. Aparently algae can be 10% efficent at converting sunlight into fuel, which is pretty impressive compared to the something like 1-2% efficency for ethanol from maize.


To get the enormous photosynthetic efficiencies often quotes for algae, you need to have a CO2-rich environment, which is why these installations are always discussed in connection with fossil power plants.

Without the elevated CO2, algae ponds are not remarkably more efficient than any other biome.


"which is why these installations are always discussed in connection with fossil power plants."

Not "always". In the case of solid oxide fuel cell/turbine generation that works with biogas from algae the whole system can wean itself from fossil fuels. Pulverized coal can be used as long as it is still needed, then biogas from digesting the half of the algae product not turned into biodiesel.

As the area of solar collectors increases the biogas eventually replacing most fossil fuel use as this form of generation becomes mainly a backup for renewable electric grid power from wind, water, and solar. No more combustion, rather fuel cell catalytic conversion at high temperature.

These systems could be mounted on the present power plant buildings. And surrounding buildings. When the sun shines the waste water, algae, and CO 2/ NOx pumped through the tubes in the concentrating solar collectors.

The heat byproduct would provide heat for all the buildings the systems are mounted on.

And as long as we're talking fuel for mainly cars, why not mount the remainder of systems needed over parking lots and highways. That way no more undeveloped land need be destroyed to provide this algae based biofuel.

Branson ought to have backed these systems instead of ethanol. Gates screwed up and backed ethanol too. it's alarming.

What we are talking about is an energy re-evolution. Power plants re-evolving into algae/solar power from fossil power, and from combustion to catalytic fuel cell direct electric generation. The coal feeding the fuel cells and CO 2 to the algae until a big enough collector area is built to replace the coal itself with biogas.

And demand for the power plant going lower and lower as renewable sources come online.

Paul Dietz

What is needed is a way to combine this kind of system with atmospheric CO2 capture, so it can be used without a fossil fuel plant yet still export fuel.

If the algae are of the kind that grow in high pH water loaded with bicarbonate ions, then their normal growth will act to remove bicarbonate, producing hydroxyl ions, thereby increasing the pH. The water could then be used to strip CO2 from the air, convering the OH- ions back to bicarbonate.

Soda lakes with this kind of chemistry have the highest photosynthetic productivity of any natural ecosystems, due to the absence of carbon constraints.

Ronald Brak

Current natural gas power plants might be a convenient source of CO2 for the algae.


this is a joke. Just another group of unknown people with zero track record scamming a story and hoping to inflate their BB shares. No design, no patents, no prototype, no customers, etc etc


Can someone explain to me how they are going to get CO2 sequestation credits? There is no sequestration involved because the CO2 absorbed is released again upon use. Are they claiming the credit for avoided diesel use?


Tax crude oil to subsidize renewable fuel usage until research and development make renewable fuels cost competitive. Higher crop prices will drive up investment into research and development into the biological systems approach to energy needs. The price of bread is more changed by oil prices than wheat. ($6.00 per bushel allows Afghans to raise wheat than poppies!)

If the crude oil industry was dictated by a perfectly competitive market model, then we would already have biofuels. It's awful expensive for tax payers to continue to protect the free flow of oil. Some say upward to a $1 per gallon as a hidden tax at the retail level. (We also must not forget the billions we pay farmers not to farm - up to 36 million acres - the size of New York and New Jersey - so we can continue to import more crude oil!)

Consumers have the right to demand alternative choices at the pump with sound public policy that either calls for perfect market competition (meaning tax petro to make Big Oil pay for the wars and Arab tribute) &/or subsidize and gaurantee markets for biofuels to outcompete imported crude oil. The playing field has never been leveled for Big Ag and Big Oil to truely compete resulting in truely competitive markets and more choices for consumers at the fuel pumps.

NYC investors will always invest in Big Oil due to higher ROI's due to the control of fuel markets that subsidized Big Oil has over all of us. The legacy of Standard Oil has never left us. Send all the oil lobbyists to the Middle East where they can worship their money with the suicide bombers.



This company may be a joke. But there are others out there with patents, with technologies that are being tested and with some demonstrated results.

The main issues seem to be whether the technologies are scalable and whether they'll be economical. For a 1000MW coal plant, you'd need 2000 acres or just over 3 square miles of bioreactors to accommodate all of the exhaust.

In an environment where CO2 release had a direct cost to the releaser, this would get them credits. That doesn't exist yet, except as a voluntary "market".

But if as Isaac Berzin of Greenfuel Technologies has said, algae bioreactors could remove 40% or more of the CO2 from power plant exhaust and if it is scalable, then by using this on our coal and nat gas plants, we could replace all petroleum use in the US, or the energy equivalent in coal and nat gas.

If we got more serious about eliminating the term "waste" from our thinking, then we'd also start to use plasma arc technology to gasify our MSW, using the CO2 from that process to grow algae as well. If there were plants designed to run on fast-growing farmed trees, then there would be a closed CO2 loop, with the original fuel coming from CO2 eating plants, with the CO2 released from that converted into algae biomass.

And for those critical of Gates and others investing in "ethanol", if algae biomass is ever developed into a major source of fuel, biodiesel will be the main product, but ethanol will be the main by-product.

And some bioreactors out there, see the one developed by David Bayless at Ohio University, produce algae that are mostly starch by weight. So that biomass would either be direct burned along with coal, gasified or converted into ethanol.


The only joke is US government and capital market's response to ever widening oil war and global climate disaster.

And it's a sick joke. That is killing 100s of thousands every year it goes on. And threatens to kill millions sometime very soon.

And destroy our economy and super power status in this dangerous world where nuclear proliferation marches onward right on down to every terror group that wants it.

Take off those daytrader shades and get some real perspective.

P Aarne Vesilind

Question for someone who knows the process: You need nutrients to grow the algae. Where do these come from? Are they recycled? Do you have to add say phosphate and nitrate into the reactor, and if so, then this requires the use of a non-replenishable resource. Can anyone help me out here?

John Blackburn

Wow, I saw you guys on CNN this morning for your special report out of El Paso TX. Great job, it's working!


What about cement factories and steel mills? Those are good places for CO2 feedstocks. There are so many sources and so many places to go to utilize into algae.

What about producing a high starch biomass so that it could be burried into depleated deep underground oil wells thus sequestering the carbon w/o spending money on liquid CO2 cooling/compression techniques.


National Algae Association

Algae: The Next Biofuel


Algae Commercialization
Business Plan and Networking Forum

April 10, 2008


Algae: The New Oil

Early stage algae production algae production companies will showcase their companies at the National Algae Association business plan and networking forum on April 10th. The most promising algae oil production companies will present their new ventures in front of an audience of algae researchers, biodiesel/biofuel companies interested in learning about algae commercialization as well as potential investors and lenders.

Deadline for all business plans and white papers must be submitted by March 28, 2008. Business plans and white papers will be reviewed by the executive committee. Only 6 business plans will be picked to present at the National Algae Association quarterly business plan and networking forum.
When: April 10, 2008

Time: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Where: Training and Development Conference Center

5000 Research Forest Dr., 1st floor

The Woodlands, Texas 77381

J Werner

P Aarne Vesilind,

All growth of plants / algae require nutrients. I suppose eventually as processes become "greener / ecololgical" nutrients added will hopefully come from human and / or livestock waste.

Perhaps we will one day put as much research into extracts of waste as we have done with extracts of petroleum to accomplish such efforts.

James H. Gillis, J.D., B.S.

Would like to know the genus and species of the primary algae used in the closed loop bio-reactors, with the thought in mind of duplicating the results in a small scale test of the system. This project sounds simply great!

Tony Winig

What chemical engineering processes does it take to convert the dried algae to feedstocks for diesel oil and gasoline production? How many pounds of fresh wet algae, and at how much loss in BTU valve, does it take to produce a finished gallon of diesel oil? Of gasoline? How does this compare to refining crude oil at present methods? I have seen the $20 per barrel above. Does this include all steps from raw algae to finished vehicle-usable fuel?

Don't get me wrong - I am in favor of the process. I am an engineer and just want to see the thinking behind the technology.

regards / Tony Winig

Lionel Brooks

I would like to see diesel for sale at the gate of the
algae production plant. What price? That would be pretty convincing.

Larry Pope

Ronald Brak is an idiot. With people like him in charge no breakthroughs would happen. They're all scams, right Ronald?

NO CORN - 60 gal an acre
NO SOY - 100 gal an acre?
What-ever! Equals higher food prices and starvation.

The only great source of bio fuel is through Valcent Products in Texas. They grow algae in a vertical, plastic, closed system that can attain 100,000 gallons of bio fuel per acre and uses only 5% of the water of other open systems. Also, who eats algae as a staple food? Go here and check out the Vertigro video. http://www.valcent.net/s/Home.asp

Using food sources to make fuel is insane when there is an alternative that can create enough fuel to power America’s auto needs using only 1/10th of the state of New Mexico’s arid, empty land.

kapil bansal

Highly promising...sure makes one whole lot of sense.. economically as well as environmentally... though the subject comapany's claims seem to be much on the higher side.

Most fossil fuel originated from algae, naturally... and algae have huge Carbon sequestration as compared to other known technologies... with least Carbon footprint.. and.. least or no environmental impact...

lets hope to see these things translated to commercial scale and obviating the need to dig for FOSSILISED fuel


The Gulf of Mexico is the largest Algae pond in North America. The run off from farm fertilizers has created a dead zone that supports no life because of the Algae ladent water. This Algae could be pumped ashore using curent oil platforms and pipes. The Algae could be refined at the oil refineries into feul. just a thought

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The articles in this energy blog are very interesting. I love reading here and being more informed about new things. Alternate sources of energy are just the things we need. We are better off concocting new ideas that will seriously help us in during times of financial crisis. All people are benefited by blogs like this. I would like to share some the news, tips and articles here. http://personalmoneystore.com/moneyblog/ This will help us become more aware of what is happening around us. The more knowledgeable we are, the etter, wiser decisions we will make.

Allison Martin

Dear members of Energy Blog,
I am a student in Texas, and I am conducting an experiment for science fair that involves vertical growth bags, which I plan to use for algae. I cannot find access to these bags, and I was hoping you'd have advice to help me find an availability to vertical growth algae bags. I am eagerly waiting for your response.
Allison Martin

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its a good thing that scientists and a lot of experts are giving their full effort in pushing the biofuel industry. biofuel has a lot of advantages.., it helps the environment and it creates a lot of jobs among local farmers.


One of the bigger problems is seperating the oil from the algae

Dedy Bong

We Interested to your Vertigro Algae. We just finish our Biodiesel Plant this month for Esterification process. Unfortunately the Raw material from CPO increase so we should search another resources. Your Algae is big opportunity for our Feed stock. We need to know how to Cooperate with your company.

Dedy Bong

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Valcent developed a high density vertical bio-reactor for the mass production of oil bearing algae while removing large quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. This new bioreactor is tailored to grow a species of algae that yields a large volume of high grade vegetable oil, which is very suitable for blending with petrodiesel to create a biodiesel fuel mixture.

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that's really a fantastic post ! added to my favourite blogs list..

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The blog is absolutely fantastic! Lots of great information and inspiration in this article, both of which we all need!Thanks

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The advantages of deriving biodiesel from algae include rapid growth rates, a high per-acre yield; and algae biofuel contains no sulfur, is non-toxic, and is highly biodegradable. Some species of algae are ideally suited to biodiesel production due to their high oil content--in some species, topping out near 50%.

I am glad investments are poured into this worthwhile research.

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I am a student in Texas, and I am conducting an experiment for science fair that involves vertical growth bags, which I plan to use for algae

tinggi badan

This new bio-reactors are tailored to grow a species of algae that yields a large volume of high grade vegetable oil, which is very suitable for blending with diesel to create a bio-diesel fuel.

khaled fadel

it is great ,it is more clean
in the future you can also product oxygen from algae

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It's time to clean the comments! The page is so heavy it is almost impossible to load!


We run a pest control company in the UK and currently some of our vans use biofuels, however our government is not too keen on this fuel as it is competition for the petrol giants. The price of corn oil has also gone up to prevent people from using this in their vehicles. I am wondering where this green planet and eco friendly talk has gone.

Pest Control London

Its good to see there are some governments in the world using money wisely! I wish i could say that England were one of them.

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This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want...HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

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Awesome adornment & song... Thanks for placard this. I would object to see these guys but I don't guess I can eliminate it to the Glover on the 10th. When is their succeeding gig?

Internet Ready TV

It is so great. It will be more clean
in the future. We can also product oxygen from algae


Phycotech’s mission is to provide its customers with leading edge photo bioreactor technology.

By providing cost effective technology for the production of high quality algal biomass we hope to contribute the continued growth of an algal industry that will play a key role in a more sustainable world.

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