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Thalocea news April 2012



thlaocea blue businessEditorial by Aline Pajolec.

Seaweed biofuel was at the heart of last issue’s news selection, with a new microbe genetically engineered specially to break down and ferment alginate and all the other major sugars in seaweed into ethanol.
It is also gaining momentum in India, with global biotech company Novozymes partnering with Bangalore-based startupSea6 Energy to produce seaweed biofuel.

However, one of the major problems with alge biofuel is that it is not economically viable yet. Finding a cost-effective method of harvesting algae and removing water from it  so that it can be processed effectively is a key factor to the development of the industry.

Regarding recent innovations, researchers from Sheffield University have built up on previous research, and created a fluidic oscillator allowing to efficiently create “microbubbles” to harvest algae. Such bubbles are also small enough to optimize gas exchanges in bioreactors, by both bring algae nutrient (CO2) and remove waste (oxygen), thus allowing algae to grow much faster.
There is also innovation in applications: as the result of a $15 million pilot project by Cellana and a multi-university consortium led by Cornell professors, preliminary research found that dried defatted algae derived from biofuel production can replace up to one-third of soybean meal in diets for pigs and chickens.

In Spain, a €12 million project converting sewage into biofuel via algae has been launched at a waste water treatment plant. The project is led by Spain’s Aqualia, owned by construction and services company FCC, in collaboration with European partners.
The process removes waste water pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorous to feed the algae, thereby avoiding the use of chemicals to clean the water.


India’s Water Desalination Business to Triple to $1.2 Billion
Read more… Bloomberg
FCC lidera un proyecto de 12 millones para generar biocombustibles a partir de depuración de aguas
Read more… Finanzas.com
Artificial biofilm helps double output of microbial fuel cell
Read more… The Engineer
Obama touts algal biofuels; $14M in new R&D funding; $2.28 per gallon algal biofuels in sight?
Read more… Biofuels Digest
Fish oil could save billions
Read more… Sydney Morning Herald
Nanobrick walls make excellent gas barriers and flame retardants
Read more… Nanowerk

Novozymes partners with Sea6 Energy for biofuels from seaweed
Read more… The Hindu Business Line
Micro-Bubbles Cut Cost of Algae-Derived Biofuel
Read more… Scientific American
Innovation from the sea: Jacobs University coordinates EU project in blue biotechnology
Read more… microb3.eu
Med consortium promotes biodiesel production
Read more… Cyprus Mail
Cyanotech reports surge in Q3 profits on back of ‘exceptional growth’ in astaxanthin
Read more… Nutra Ingredients
Algae Producer Aquaviridis and OriginOil Announce Joint Commercial Agreement
Read more… OriginOil
Algae may be sustainable alternative for animal feed
Read more… Physorg