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
Scientists at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have demonstrated that just two of six iron-sulfur-containing ferredoxins in a represent...
Biomass abounds on Earth, as forests, fields, sewage and seaweed. But only a small fraction, mostly human or agricultural waste, can be harvested without posing environme...
Algatechnologies (“Algatech”), Israel, has announced a more than 100% expansion of its production capacity of AstaPure® brand natural astaxanthin. This doubling of capaci...
As the number of photobioreactors in an algae growing operation increases, there is a need for both autonomous control and monitoring of individual PBRs, as well as centr...
“Proterro has reached its Q1 sugar-production pilot milestones,” CEO Kef Kasdin reported at the recent Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference, in Washington, D.C. “In fo...
A team of six University of Calgary researchers has been awarded funding for their project, Cost Effective Biotechnology for Carbon Capture and Re-Use, based on the conce...
Algal oil represents one of the significant segments within the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) ingredients market. Specifically, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is ...
By sending algae into space, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientist and his team will be able to study some of the key mechanisms that control plant growth and...
A new, outdoor system at the University of Dayton Research Institute has been producing a high volume of algae since its installation in the summer of 2013, even through ...
Kazuaki Nagata reports from Japan that while the Fukushima nuclear disaster has prompted vigorous discussion about alternative energy in Japan, there is a lack of a paral...
Algae Industry Magazine is pleased to announce a new Algae 101 series by our popular blogger, Mark Edwards, Professor, Arizona State University. The Algae Solutions to Na...
Kyae Mone Win reports in the Myanmar Times that spirulina has been harvested from Twin Daung lake in Sagaing’s Bu Ta Lin township for over a decade, but climate change an...
Starting in the early 70s, agencies in the former USSR invested more than 20,000 person-years of research and development to produce Bio-Algae Concentrates (BAC) that hel...
Steven Mufson reports for the Washington Post that Algenol Biofuels estimates hackers have attempted to break into its computers 39 million times in four months this year...
Perth, Western Australia-based Algae.Tec Limited has announced that the Reliance Group has converted the first tranche of options following the positive progress achieved...
In an effort to propel the algae industry forward, the Algae Testbed Public Private Partnership (ATP3) offers a series of hands-on specialized workshops suited for partic...
Bookending the upcoming Algae Biomass Summit, Sept. 29-Oct.2 in San Diego, will be industry tours to give attendees a first-hand look at the latest progress in technical ...
Oregon State University researchers are combining diatoms, a type of single-celled photosynthetic algae, with nanoparticles to create a sensor capable of detecting minisc...