Visit  cricatalyst.com!Nexus — Leaders in Greenhouse Systems Integration Check out more of The Buzz

Exhibitors at this year’s ABS demonstrated an evolution in the quality and scale of their tools of the trade, and the audience responded with enthusiasm.

Exhibitors at this year’s ABS demonstrated an evolution in the quality and scale of their tools of the trade, and the audience responded with enthusiasm.

spacer

ABS Day One Kicks Off with Enthusiasm and Scale-up Reports

September 25, 2012
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

The 2012 version of the Algae Biomass Summit (ABS), the algae industry’s premier trade show and progress marker, kicked off Monday, September 24, with a gathering that showcased the evolution of an industry just a handful of years in the making.

After opening remarks from ABO Executive Director Mary Rosenthal and ABS Program Chairman Dr. Phillip Pienkos, Colorado Senator Mark Udall brought home the message to the 700 or so in attendance in the opening session that future generations will be indebted to them for bringing renewable fuels into the international marketplace. He noted that despite the resistance by some powers in Congress, the work being done here is crucial to the future of every country.

“Some of my colleagues in Congress,” Senator Udall said, “think that spending money on developing alternative fuels is not prudent during times of economic struggle. I feel exactly the opposite. Now is the time to make those changes to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil. Putting that off is unacceptable.”

He went on to explain the tenuous path that the military faces in acquiring and transporting fuels in hostile territories, noting that the Department of Defense spends over $30 million for oil every day, and pointing out how many important innovations had their start in military research before moving into the consumer marketplace.

While the Navy has stepped up in a big way for algae biofuels development, soon he expects the private investment community will do the same. He counseled the attendees that Washington needs to be continually educated on the progress and needs of this industry, and he urged those in attendance to “Keep pushing on all levels, keep educating us back in Washington, and keep innovating. I want to be a champion for your work,” he said. “We can’t afford to let this opportunity pass us by.”

Next up, Dana Christianson, energy efficiency specialist at the National Renewable Energy Labs, discussed NREL’s central position in the landmark Aquatic Species Program, and how they have renewed their efforts in algae research due to the critical need to develop alternative fuels. “The Middle East,” he said, “will be in turmoil for a long time. We need to find a new path to our fuel needs. And a fully developed algae industry could create 900,000 jobs in this country.”

On the opening plenary sessions, representatives of five companies discussed their progress of moving to scale in their production. Tim Zenk, Corporate and Government Relations Director of Sapphire Energy, said that his company has produced 31 million gallons of biomass so far at Green Crude Farm, their newly opened demonstration facility in Columbus, New Mexico. “We are showing that you can grow this as a crop. We have had a year of stable growth, and have developed key processes that are economical and scalable.”

Tim Burns, CEO of BioProcess Algae described the evolution of their new five-acre facility in Shenandoah, Iowa, co-located with a corn ethanol facility. The facility will be in full production by November. Cellana’s Martin Sebarski said that their six-acre facility in Hawaii, using a hybrid of closed and open systems, has yielded 10 metric tons of biomass, with a diversity of strains emphasizing Omega-3 for their ReNew line of products, as well as proteins for high value feeds and biocrude oils.

Heliae chief Dan Simon updated his company’s progress, saying that they have recently raised an additional $30 million for expansion and are in position to produce revenue in 2013. “We have a production model that works and are building our first commercial facility on 20 acres,” adding that the company now has 84 employees, including 12 PhDs, 27 engineers and 35 operations people. They plan to raise another $50mil for expansion in 2013.

Wrapping up the panel was Algenol’s Paul Woods, who revealed that the past year was very eventful for his company, raising $100 million, while negotiating state regulatory hurdles that almost brought the company down. In successfully navigating the red tape, Algenol was able to prove out their production model, surpassing eight thousand gallons of ethanol per acre per year. The company, now with155 employees, has expanded beyond ethanol in their production platform to now include jet and diesel fuel, and they are planning on raising around $150 million over the next year for development, with their next facility possibly encompassing more than 1000 acres. He lamented a bit that, while this has been a great year for the company, virtually all of their funding has come from sources outside the U.S.

ABS continues through Thursday, September 27.

More Buzz…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2012 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Chase Ezell writes in Earth911.com about the irony of Algenol’s biggest friction source on the way to marketing their carbon reducing algal-based ethanol being — the EPA ...
Biplab Das reports in NatureAsia.com that a research team has found aqueous extracts of the marine brown algae Lobophoro variegate that can inhibit the replication of hum...
James “Jamie” Levine took over the reigns at Sapphire Energy in July of this year as former President and CEO Cynthia “CJ” Warner stepped down, retaining her role as chai...
On September 25, 2014, a photobioreactor for the cultivation of algae was officially unveiled during a seminar at Thomas More University College in Mechelen, Belgium. Und...
Western Morning News reports that Westcountry scientists in the U.K. are using algae to develop an innovative new method of cleaning up contaminated mine water while harv...
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae because of their color, have endured for more than 2.5 billion years, providing ample time to adapt to changes in the Earth'...
Tess Riley writes in TheGuardian.com about how spirulina may be able to combat malnutrition in developing countries. Spirulina is one of the oldest life forms on Earth, c...
Green Star Products, Inc. (GSPI) has signed a contract to build a demonstration facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, to produce commercial quality algae. The Hybrid Algae Produ...
Fort Myers, FL-based Algenol has announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved fuels made from Algenol’s process as an advanced biofuel, meet...
In an age where customer input is as easy as a click, OriginOil has tapped directly into its intended market to R&D their next generation algae harvester -- with a de...
Designboom.com is showcasing the “Spirulina Fountain” designed by bureau A. The installation constitutes a hybrid, fusing the production basins of the intense blue-green ...
Fort Myers, FL-based Algenol, and India's Reliance Industries Ltd., have deployed India’s first Algenol algae production platform. The demonstration module is located nea...
Researchers Greg O’Neil of Western Washington University and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), have exploited an unusual and untapped class of c...
In a recent study, published in PLOS ONE Journal, the influence of light intensity on the growth and lipid productivity of Nannochloropsis salina was investigated in a fl...
Kevin Valine at the Modesto Bee writes that the California city of Modesto may sell the algae that grows in its roughly 1,000 acres of sewer ponds at its Jennings Road wa...