Transforming the waste from wastewater

Transforming the waste from wastewater

Mark Harris writes in the Guardian about a pilot project in Las Cruces, New Mexico, where Dr. Peter Lammers, a professor in algal bioenergy at Arizona State University, along with researchers at New Mexico State University, are diverting effluent from the city’s wastewater treatment plant into rows of long plastic…

Algix & Effekt introduce algae-derived flexible foams

Algix & Effekt introduce algae-derived flexible foams

Meridian, Mississippi-based Algix LLC, a leading producer of algae bio-products, and Effekt LLC, an environmentally minded product and material development company in San Diego, CA, have announced the creation of the world’s first algae-derived flexible foams. Both companies are joining forces in a joint venture entitled…

Making plastics and omega-3 in space

Making plastics and omega-3 in space

John Wenz reports in Popular Mechanics that Dr. Mark Blenner, a research group leader at Clemson University, is developing a smart way for future deep space explorers to recycle their bodily waste into nutritional supplements to keep them alive and even create useful building materials to keep the ship up and running…

The potential in your Euglena pond

The potential in your Euglena pond

Scientists at the John Innes Centre, in Norwich, England, have discovered that Euglena gracilis, the single cell algae that inhabits most garden ponds, has a whole host of new, unclassified genes that can make new forms of carbohydrates and natural products. Even with the latest technologies, sequencing the DNA…

Sandia improving algae nutrient recycling

Sandia improving algae nutrient recycling

Nitrogen and phosphate nutrients are among the biggest costs in cultivating algae for biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories molecular biologists Todd Lane and Ryan Davis have shown they can recycle about two-thirds of those critical nutrients, and aim to raise the recycling rate to close to 100 percent…

Producing ethylene from algae

Producing ethylene from algae

Currently made most often from petroleum and natural gas, ethylene is used in the manufacture of plastics and polyester, and ranks as the largest petrochemical produced by volume around the world. But the process of making ethylene requires considerable amounts of energy and releases carbon dioxide…

Natural food color demand boosting spirulina sales

Natural food color demand boosting spirulina sales

The demand for spirulina as a natural food colorant is robust in the North America food processing industry, according to a new study by market intelligence firm Future Market Insights (FMI). Spirulina, which can give a blue color to a food product, is widely used in the confectionary and dairy products…

Algae growing as a protein source

Algae growing as a protein source

Jessie Rack reports for NPR that demand for plant protein of all types is growing in concert with the growing interest in the U.S. to reduce meat consumption. People, from vegans to flexitarians to Meatless Monday dabblers, are substituting vegetables for meat. “(Product) developers realize we need…

Gently stressing algae for higher lipids

Gently stressing algae for higher lipids

Some algae like Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (or “Chlamy,” as it’s known to its large research community) produce energy-dense oils or lipids when stressed, and these lipids can then be converted into fuels. However, researchers walk a fine line in not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs, in this case, stressing…

Converde begins wet algae grinding, oil extraction

Converde begins wet algae grinding, oil extraction

Converde Energy USA Inc. has announced that it will begin to test simultaneous grinding and oil extraction of algae at their Cambridge, Ontario, Canada facility using their new algae bioreactor technology, and has hired a biochemical engineer to oversee the project. They intend to have a new pilot… [Read the full story]

Algae molecules mined for new sunscreens

Algae molecules mined for new sunscreens

Melissae Fellet reports in Chemical & Engineering News that new materials containing ultraviolet-absorbing molecules found in algae and reef-fish mucus could serve as nontoxic, biocompatible sunscreens. The photostable materials could be used in cosmetics or as UV-protective coatings…