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

Australia Defines Best Algae Cultivation Locations

September 12, 2012
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Professor Michael Borowitzka, of Murdoch University

Professor Michael Borowitzka, of Murdoch University

Scientists have identified a number of Western Australia (WA) sites capable of producing large quantities of commercial biofuel from microalgae. They say the best sites for big-scale algal biofuel plants include stretches of land south of Geraldton, southeast of Exmouth and large areas near Karratha and Port Hedland.

Professor Michael Borowitzka from Murdoch University’s Algae Research and Development Centre, and Assistant Professor Bryan Boruff from the School of Earth and Environment at The University of Western Australia, used Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology to study more than 2250km of WA coastline from Lancelin to Broome and 170km inland.

Their report, Identification of the Optimum Sites for Industrial-scale Microalgae Biofuel Production in WA using a GIS Model, was prepared for the WA Government-funded Centre for Research into Energy for Sustainable Transport (CREST) and is the first WA-wide study of its kind.

Professor Borowitzka, a world authority on algal biofuel production, said WA had several key advantages for suitable sites: abundant sunshine, extensive land unsuitable for agriculture and plenty of water in the Indian Ocean.

“But not all of WA is ideal for such plants, so we examined sites scientifically by assessing land suitability, access to infrastructure and workforce, carbon dioxide availability − along with nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus − and climate,” he said. “More research and development is needed to find the most energy-efficient and economically feasible way to extract and convert algal biomass into renewable bioenergy.”

Assistant Professor Boruff added: “Commercial success depends on economically viable, large-scale production, which is why this study is so important.”

WA already has the world’s biggest commercial microalgae production plant at Hutt Lagoon, north of Geraldton. US biofuel producer Aurora Algae and Australian biofuel start-up company Muradel Pty Ltd − a joint venture between Murdoch University, Adelaide Research and Innovation Pty Ltd and SQC Pty Ltd − have also built pilot plants in Karratha.

Aurora Algae, a United States-based company, has been operating in Western Australia for more than two years. It has managed a pilot facility in Karratha for approximately one year, and Aurora is now expanding the facility to full-scale commercial size.

The commercial-scale facility, to be located at the site of the pilot operation in Karratha, will involve 400 hectares of algae growth ponds constructed in two phases. Aurora expects to break ground on first phase, 100 hectares, in the middle of 2013 and bring it online approximately one year later.

The facility that Aurora currently operates in Karratha cost just over $10 million to construct, and received $2 million in funding from the Western Australian Government through the Low-Emissions Energy Development Fund.

More Buzz…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2012 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
Portuguese cement facility, Secil, and microalgae biotechnology company, A4F, also based in Portugal, have formed AlgaFarm, a joint venture to develop the use of cement f...
Analia Murias 
reports for fis.com that Chilean exports of products made from macroalgae generated a total of $195 million US in the first seven months of 2014, according...
U.S. farmers and biofuels makers are watching for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) final decision on the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard rules, which will set t...
Arizona is taking advantage of its open land and ample sunshine to assume a leadership position in the algae biofuel field. The state is home to two national algae testbe...
With their new CO₂ processing-platform called AstaCos, AlgaeBiotech can produce waxy particles of only 50-100 µm in size with a loading of 25% astaxanthin oleoresin. The ...
Algix, parent company of Solaplast, will be inaugurating their algae-to-plastic facility in Meridian, Mississippi, on November 14, 2014. Solaplast's facility will be focu...
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...
William Tucker writes in fullfreedom.org about the lure the oceans have for advocates of biofuel, particularly in Scandinavia. “Two-thirds of the globe is covered with wa...
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'...
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...
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...
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...
Developing renewable fuel from wet algae is one of the latest innovations Richland, Washington-based Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has successfully driven ...
A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Energy Technologies Office (BETO) project, awarded to Cal Poly (California Polytechnic State University) in collaboration with M...
Don Willmott writes in Huffington Post about Nevada-based Algae Systems, which has built a test plant on Alabama's Mobile Bay to not only turn algae into diesel fuel but ...