Algae industry awash in new technologies to address key commercialization barrier: will they pluck algae, and the algae industry, out of the water?
Last month in the Digest we ranked “Algae extraction” at #5 on the list of “Transformers” – technologies that would rock the bio world. We wrote:
“While we are on the subject of the special challenges of growing algae, there’s the problem of getting the algae out of the water, or the water out of the algae. Given that a decent microalgae concentration is around 0.1 percent, you have to remove 1000 gallons of water per gallon to get a gallon of dry algal biomass, which has about 50,000 BTUs or so. So even if you are expending just a handful of BTUs per gallon to move the water, you’re dangerously close to using more energy to produce algal fuels than the fuel contains…For sure, no algae fuel company will emerge at scale without a solution to this one.”
It’s true. You have to have this one solved. It’s mandatory. But the field s full of contenders now – in fact, half the problem is figuring out which technology to partner with. They are popping up these past twelve months at a rate of around one technology every sixty days – three new ones since mid January, as a matter of fact.
That’s, in part, the rational for the National Algae Association to hold an Algae Growing, Harvesting, Extraction Technologies and Networking Conference, this week in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. For those who won’t have a chance to network at the NAA meeting, we have this state of the art review. …
…to read the complete report, please download here!
Source: Biofuels Digest, 2011-05-17.