The Buzz

Photon8 Developing ‘Drop-In’ Fuels from Algae

October 30, 2010
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Photon8, Inc., of Brownsville, TX, has announced that it has succeeded in producing “drop-in” fuel components from its “genetically improved” algae. The recent tests were performed by an undisclosed commercial laboratory using gas chromatography analysis for determining carbon chain length and degree of saturation. “Verified by an outside lab, the newest results support the company’s plan for the production of jet fuel and diesel fuel,” says Brad Bartilson, President and CEO of Photon8, Inc.

The company is currently patenting their technology and has not gone public with specific details of their process. According to Bartilson, “The process is simpler than those who propose producing ‘green crude’ and sending it through an oil refinery hydrotreating system. We have already achieved the productivity of 5600 gal/acre/year, and most importantly, within our confines of under $10/m2, leading to a cost of jet fuel components of less than $1.50/gallon.”

Photon8 claims their new processing methods render hydrocarbons identical to those of conventional fuels, eliminating the need for blending. “The current biofuels on the market, ethanol and biodiesel, require blending with fossil fuels to render them engine-compatible over the specified range of operating conditions,” says Bartilson.

“Ethanol, which currently fills the majority of the RFS (Renewable Fuels Standard) mandate, leaves much to be desired —a very poor energy return ratio, a low energy content, high fresh water consumption, emits CO2 in its production, and cannot be pumped down the nation’s pipeline network. Biodiesel, which avoids many of these issues, currently requires mixing with fossil-based diesel in order to meet cold temperature operation conditions. Elimination of blending requirements means a greater displacement of imported oil.”

The company will be presenting further details on its progress at the World Algae Conference in San Francisco, December 6-8, 2010.

Copyright ©2010 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.

Visit the A.I.M. Archives

AIM interview ArchivesAlgae 101 ArchivesHot Products ArchivesInnovations ArchivesMoney ArchivesProcess ArchivesResearch ArchivesScale Up ArchivesThe Buzz Archives

FREE Algae News & Updates

Sign up to receive breaking A.I.M. updates!

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
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...
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...
Caroline Scott-Thomas reports on Food Navigator about an online algae discussion on the social media site Reddit where Mars' chief agricultural officer Howard-Yana Shapir...
Hammenhög, Sweden-based agribusiness Simris Alg has announced the launch of its first consumer products. The algae farmers’ exclusive omega-3 supplements and superfoods w...
Montague, Prince Edward Island-based Solarvest has announced that it has used its algal-based production platform to express bioactive therapeutic proteins. The proof of ...
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing an early warning indicator system using historical and current satellite data to detect algal blooms. EPA res...
Algae “red tide” events often create dazzling nighttime light shows of blue-green bioluminescence resulting from the force generated by breaking waves. While many mysteri...
The vision of developing a community college degree program to train a high technology algae workforce was launched at New Mexico's Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) in 2...
Modesto, California-based G3 Enterprises, Inc. has entered into an agreement with Commercial Algae Professionals (CAP) to represent their unique drying technology in the ...
Algatechnologies Ltd. has launched its AstaPure® 5% Natural Astaxanthin oleoresin, derived from Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae. This latest addition to the AstaPure f...
Algaculture, or algae farming, like any form of agriculture, is highly sensitive to fertilizer costs. A major roadblock to commercial algae farming is efficient utilizati...
If we built a Green Friendship Bridge composed of 8,600 algae microfarms given to Mexican and Central American farmers in lieu of 1%, (13 miles) of additional border wall...