Visit cricatalyst.com!Looking for Algae Industry Research? Check out more of The Buzz

NAA proposes “Manhattan Project” for algae

March 19, 2014 | by Barry Cohen, Executive Director, National Algae Association
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

NAALogo1On August 2, 1939, just before the beginning of World War II, Albert Einstein wrote to then President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Einstein and several other scientists told Roosevelt of efforts in Nazi Germany to purify uranium-235, which could be used to build an atomic bomb. It was shortly thereafter that the United States Government began the serious undertaking known then only as “The Manhattan Project.” Simply put, the Manhattan Project was committed to expediting research that would produce a viable atomic bomb.

The National Algae Association is proposing a Manhattan Project for Algae – total and complete collaboration, with the commitment to producing advanced biofuels. We’ve already done the research and it’s time to produce. If we cannot, we can forget about algae for advanced biofuels. We can continue to be held hostage by a government that does not want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil – it’s too important to the world economy and to support university research projects than to support the creation of a new industry that will create new jobs and commercially produce algae-based fuels at strategic locations throughout the U.S.

The challenge is to get Washington to re-think its strategy. They’re working with a 45 year old Congressional Mandate, and refuse to take steps to update Congress that algae research is no longer needed! Rather than fulfill its initial mission, the Department of Energy has changed the mission rather than admit its failure.

NAA has been trying to work with the Department of Energy’s Biomass Program, especially after the release of the National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap in 2010. Since then, NAA has been involved in commercial production, in developing the first 100-acre scale-up plans and specifications, developed the first Algae Production Certification Program to provide a standard baseline of knowledge in commercial algae production and converted it to an online format for international distribution, and has launched algae production incubator sites.

In a showing of its interest in working together, NAA invited all of the members of the newly-formed Algae Caucus to its recent Algae Production Workshop, along with representatives from the Departments of Agriculture (now responsible for growing algae as a crop), Defense and Navy (military fuel). Sadly, not one government department was represented at the Workshop. With $2.5 billion and 60 years already spent on algae research, all with positive results, and knowing about NAA’s successes, one would think they would have had a vested interest in the next step – commercial production.  With algae farms and algae bio-manufacturing plants already built around the world, wouldn’t you think someone would be interested in learning how algae is produced on a commercial scale?

The only thing slowing their growth is a lack of money, says Sapphire Energy’s Tim Zenk. “Our limitation on the commercialization is capital. It’s no longer science.” Another past algae research grant recipient stated years ago that “all algae technology hurdles have been met. It’s all engineering and scale-up going forward.”

Unless there is a “Manhattan Project for Algae“ bringing together private industry, commercially-minded algae researchers using proven technologies that can scale outside the lab and the government committed to commercial production, forget about algae for advanced biofuels. The algae production industry will continue growing algae for higher value co-products, but not for advanced algae biofuels.

More Buzz…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2014 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 ...
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...
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...
In October 2014 an unusual AlgaePARC research paper entitled Design and construction of the microalgal pilot facility AlgaePARC was published in the Journal of Algal Rese...
Most Americans get plenty of protein, primarily from animal products including meat, eggs and milk. But for many, ensuring a healthy protein intake can be challenging. In...
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...
Phys.org reports that, in collaboration with the Berlin, Germany LED manufacturer FutureLED, scientists at the Technische Universität München have developed a unique comb...
Allan Koay writes in thestar.com about a Universiti Malaya research project paving the way for the commercial production of paper pulp and bioethanol from seaweed. The Al...
Much of the development of the algae industry in 2014 was driven by domestic and international alliances, partnerships, and mergers that brought complementary skills and ...
West Chester, Pennsylvania-based International Sustainability Group, Inc., an innovative green technology and sustainable manufacturing company, has entered the algae mar...
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...
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...
Kailua Kona, Hawaii-based Cyanotech has announced financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal year 2015, ended December 31, 2014. For the thir...
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...