The Ideal Algae For Biofuels
[Editor's note: Keep in mind, this article is about commercial scale algae production and many of the issues raised here are not relevant to home and/or micro scale.]
The US National Renewable Energy Laboratory introduced this formalized study about the theoretical maximum oil outcomes regarding micro algae in a number of conditions. In connection with the southwestern United States (Phoenix, Arizona), they’re saying
At this particular moment there are four micro algae businesses that are creating 14,000 gallons/acre/year at around $2/gallon utilizing a petrol refinery business design. Working out at only 10,000 gallons/acre/year in addition to producing adequate vehicle petroleum to deliver 100% of the gas used by the usa throughout 2009 (shifting to the actual higher power source in terms of biodiesel) means less than 12 million acres of farm land. Corn meant for ethanol is currently using 27 million acres of key US farmland providing about 300 gallons/acre/year in addition to biodiesel from soy was until now, employing greater than 20 million acres of farmland at 50 gallons/acre/year.The Ideal Algae for Biofuels What will the perfect micro algae look like? Precisely what attributes would in all likelihood it possess? Just what is it that makes it far better in comparison to other varieties?
Several remarkable instances which have stimulated bio fuels from algae to the cutting edge of technology. The biotechnology initiative: innovations in biotechnology over the past several years have led to considerable contracts among both federal government in addition to private companies. The on-going “food vs. fuel” discussion has been an issue regarding establishing the approaching scientific advancement concerning renewable energy solutions. Sources of energy that do not rely on food harvests, in addition to farmland to produce. The key objective would be to reduce manufacturing expenses as well as energy requirements, together with maximizing lipid yields and enhancing biomass worth by making use of each of the algal biomass components. That is, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids. Commercial production of micro algae is still determined by common methods using a variety of strains. There are numerous other subspecies still to discover; in addition, genetic engineering offers exciting possibilities concerning algae strain development. Maximum lipid output is vital regarding the commercially produced development of biodiesel from microalgae. Currently, some of the desired particular traits mentioned above may be found in specific strains but never integrated in an individual ideal strain. Even so, three strains are well worth considering.
At the moment, there are roughly ten different strains of algae that might be improved. However, sophisticated metabolic engineering, where a couple of genes are over expressed or down-regulated from one organism, is at present feasible using C. reinhardtii. Many of us foresee the genome in relation to various other algal strains will probably be sequenced soon, due to the present substantial interest in this industry, development of the scientific network, plus the use of effective reliable modern advances created for genome sequencing. The crucial nutrients essential for the development of microalgae are nitrogen and phosphorus. The principal inputs required in addition to the actual algae are direct sunlight, water, CO2, nitrogen, and phosphorus. The race is just heating up to engineer the perfect algae strain for biofuels. I wouldn’t expect it to see it on the market anytime soon. Once it is developed, it will either be a proprietary strain owned by a Mega-Corp, or sold to the highest bidder. However, there is a “trickle down” effect which always leads to lower prices. Soon, these strains will be common place.
The Algae Revolution Has Begun
Get On Board, or Get Left Behind
References and Notes 1. W. J. Oswald, C. G. Golueke, Adv. Appl. Microbiol. 2, 223 (1960). 2. J. Sheehan, T. Dunahay, J. Benemann, P. Roesler, A Look Back at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Aquatic Species Program: Biodiesel from Algae (Department of Energy, Golden, CO, 1998). 3. N. Usui, M. Ikenouchi, Energy Convers. Manage. 38 (suppl. 1), S487 (1997).
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