The Buzz

Photon8 Developing ‘Drop-In’ Fuels from Algae

October 30, 2010

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 All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact

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
Jennifer Grebow writes in Nutritional Outlook that astaxanthin supplier AstaReal, of Burlington, NJ, one of the founding members of the Natural Algae Astaxanthin Associat...
The GNT Group, a market leader in using algae as natural ingredients for color, has begun construction of an additional spirulina plant at its headquarters in Mierlo, the...
The water sample taken from the St. Lucie River near the coastline of Ft. Pierce, Florida was loaded with blue-green algae when it arrived in Ben Spaulding’s lab in Scarb...
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich writes in the Jerusalem Post that Dr. Iftach Yacoby and his research team at Tel Aviv University, in Israel, have genetically altered microalgae to ...
Cheryl Katz writes in National Geographic that Iceland’s last living lake balls are disappearing. The fluffy green supersize diatoms as large as a head of cabbage are one...
Agcore Technologies LLC, producer of Agcore Spirulina, has announced that their 2016 expansion project to support their growing aquafeed demand is in the completion proce...