twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives
NCMA Algae Tips
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Commercial Algae Professionals

Process

Algae + Papaya = Biofuel

April 14, 2016
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Papaya crop

Approximately one-third of Hawaii’s commercial papaya crop is not sold because of fruit defects. An algal-based system that uses juice from such papayas to produce oil for conversion into biodiesel may help Hawaii’s growers recoup some of their losses.

At the Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo, Hawaii, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) plant pathologist Lisa Keith has spent the past five years fine-tuning conditions under which Chlorella protothecoides algae can be coaxed into producing oil from discarded papayas and other unmarketable crops or byproducts, like glycerol.

The effort is part of a zero-waste system being championed and supported by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) to ease the state’s reliance on imported oil for its fuel and energy needs.

According to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, a partnership between Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy, imported oil supplies 90 percent of Hawaii’s energy — a dependency subject to fluctuating oil prices and availability, which the state hopes to diminish by 2045 by developing clean, renewable energy resources.

“The goal of the zero-waste approach is to make agriculture more profitable and to address food- and energy-security issues in Hawaii,” says Dr. Keith, with the ARS center’s Tropical Plant Genetic Resources and Disease Research Unit. To accomplish this, the HDOA’s Agribusiness Development Corporation awarded a $1.6 million grant in 2014 to the ARS center in support of Dr. Keith and colleagues’ efforts to scale up the system.

Her research uses bioreactors, which “will allow us to grow 150 liters — approximately 40 gallons — of algae. That’s at least 15 times more than we have grown previously,” she says.

The team, from the ARS center and the University of Hawaii, plans to use UTEX 249, a top-performing strain of C. protothecoides that can store as much as 60 percent its cellular weight in lipids when grown, in the absence of sunlight, on a diet of 35 percent papaya juice.

“While nearly all algae are capable of using energy from light to produce organic molecules from carbon dioxide and water, some algae, including C. protothecoides, can also absorb organic molecules, such as sugars, from sources such as papaya juice,” she says. “This is the process we utilized for the zero-waste system,” details of which are published in the August 2015 issue of Algal Research.

In addition to sugar, papaya juice contains carbon, a critical but costly component of current algal-based methods of producing oil for conversion into biodiesel. The zero-waste system only uses unmarketable papayas, which account for 35 percent of Hawaii’s nearly 25-million-pound crop and represent a substantial revenue loss for growers there.

Fortunately, the algae’s fondness for the fruit’s sugar and carbon might offer a way to recoup some of those losses. Another anticipated benefit, besides “home-grown” biodiesel, is a new, low-cost source of animal feed in the form of algal meal, the protein remains of C. protothecoides once its oil has been extracted to make fuel.

“One idea is to incorporate this material into fish feed for commercial freshwater and marine operations,” says Dr. Keith. “As the scale-up for this project proceeds, we will begin to accumulate enough raw materials to begin fish-feeding trials.”

“Algae + Papaya = Biofuel,” by Jan Suszkiw, ARS Office of Communications, was published in the April 2016 issue of AgResearch Magazine.

More Like This…

HOME A.I.M. Archives

Copyright ©2010-2016 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required 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
Solazyme, Inc. and Versalis, the chemical subsidiary of Eni S.p.A., one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, today announced a partnership to expand the commerci...
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...
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 ...
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...
UC San Diego’s efforts to produce innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s environmental problems have resulted in a partnership with the region’s surfing indu...
Japan’s IHI Corporation has announced that they have succeeded in stably cultivating a modified high-output algal strain in a 1,500 square meter open pond in Kagoshima, K...
While aquafarmers in Maine have been harvesting seaweed for nearly 80 years, for a variety of uses and products, in recent years wild harvests have not been able to meet ...
Studies conducted by EnAlgae partners in Ireland, France and Belgium point the way to seaweed being a viable and sustainable feedstock for the future in North West Europe...
Nitrogen and phosphate nutrients are among the biggest costs in cultivating algae for biofuels. Sandia National Laboratories molecular biologists Todd Lane and Ryan Davis...
Astaxanthin has been widely used in the aquaculture industry for pigmentation of salmon, trout and shrimp; used for its antioxidant and other health benefits in the nutra...
Researchers at Michigan State University have built a molecular super protein tool that streamlines the molecular machinery of cyanobacteria making, they say, biofuels an...
Hannah Osborne writes in the International Business Times that algae has been genetically engineered to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells. The algae nanopar...