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Thalocea News – Jan 2012

 

 

thlaocea blue businessEditorial by Amélie Fargue.

 
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Biotech Architecture Lab’s breakthrough could hardly be missed this week, with a new microbe genetically engineered specially to break down and ferment alginate and all the other major sugars in seaweed into ethanol.

Seaweed is also the subject of research for the Munich University of Technology, where researchers have discovered a promising new system which can convert brown seaweed into biofuel, opening up a new possible source of energy. Microalgae is more commonly used in current biofuel researches, and experts’ main concern is whether enough seaweed can be harvested to make it a significant contributor to petroleum independence.

Although the usual problem of cost is still there, the algal biofuel sector is gradually interesting major players, with French oil giant Total signing an agreement with Cellectis to develop microalgae-based oil substitutes. OriginOil, the developer of a breakthrough technology to extract oil from algae, announced its plans to co-develop an integrated system with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory for direct conversion of raw algae into a renewable crude oil that can be used by existing petroleum refineries.

Concerning marine energies, although existing technologies such as Pelamis’ “snake” have encountered unforeseen financial and technical difficulties, Ecotricity claims 200 of its Searaser devices can be installed around the UK within 5 years.
Searaser has one particular advantage, which lies in its ability to store energy in reservoirs and release it when needed, thus addressing one major drawback of renewables.

The UK is also at the forefront of Europe’s 866MW offshore wind surge, with almost 90 per cent of capacity added in 2011 in UK waters, according to the European Wind Energy Agency.

This month also saw the signing of an agreement on renewables between Scotland and Abu Dhabi, with hopes that Scotland’s expertise in wind, wave and tidal power can be combined with the Emirate’s lead in solar power, developments in hydrogen fuel cells and carbon capture.

Headlines: MARINE RESOURCES

Genetically Engineered Stomach Microbe Converts Seaweed into Ethanol

read more…Scientific American

UC Davis and University of Tokyo collaborating on algae biofuels project
read more…Green Car Congress

Algae.Tec, Shandong Kerui for algal biofuels JV in China
read more…Biofuels Digest

GlycoMar, MicroA of Norway Collaboration Gain Funding
read more…Inside Cosmeceuticals

Nunavik seaweed becomes barbecue spice
read more…CBC.ca

In NZ, seaweed the “next big thing”
read more…WorldFishing.net

AlgaeBio aims for spring launch of novel algal EPA/DHA oils
read more…NutraIngredients

Biodiesel production method could reduce fuel’s drawbacks
read more…The Engineer

Oil giant Total places first bet on algal biofuels, with Cellectis
read more…Biofuels Digest

 

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