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
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...
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...
Murdoch University researchers are investigating whether the effluent from piggeries can be effectively treated with micro- and macroalgae so that species of the organism...
The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has named Solazyme CEO and co-founder Jonathan S. Wolfson as the recipient of its 2015 George Washington Carver Award for in...
Currently made most often from petroleum and natural gas, ethylene is used in the manufacture of plastics and polyester, and ranks as the largest petrochemical produced b...
DENSO Corporation, Toyota Motor Corp.’s largest supplier, has announced that it will build a large test facility to culture Pseudochoricystis ellipsoidea – an oil-produci...
The Chesapeake Bay Seed Capital Fund, located in College Park, Maryland, has invested $150,000 into Manta Biofuel LLC, a company that produces crude oil from algae at a c...
Ewen Callaway writes in the jounal Nature that restrictions on harvests and exports of Gelidium seaweed in Morocco have affected the global supply of the lab reagent agar...
While researchers have long suspected that climate change will lead to stronger and more frequent algal blooms, a new fusion of climate models and watershed models has pr...
Kailua Kona-based Cyanotech Corporation announced financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of fiscal year 2016, ended December 31, 2015. For the thir...
The last post positioned algae solutions for bioremediation of poisoned water and soil that can reduce the risk of arsenic exposure and the onset of autism spectrum disor...
Karen Phillips writes for deeperblue.com that algae are the alveoli in the ocean lungs of our planet, vitally important to the health of the seas as home, food source, sa...