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
Phys.org reports that, in collaboration with the Berlin, Germany LED manufacturer FutureLED, scientists at the Technische Universität München have developed a unique comb...
Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae because of their color, have endured for more than 2.5 billion years, providing ample time to adapt to changes in the Earth'...
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...
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...
Kevin Quon writes in Seeking Alpha about the financial plights and pivots of Solazyme, the algae industry’s most high profile recent IPO. In a year that started with a sh...
Designboom.com is showcasing the “Spirulina Fountain” designed by bureau A. The installation constitutes a hybrid, fusing the production basins of the intense blue-green ...
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...
Nutritionaloutlook.com this month gives a well-rounded survey of how algae’s uses in food, beverage, and supplements keep expanding. Here is an excerpt: Thanks to the 201...
A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Biomass Energy Technologies Office (BETO) project, awarded to Cal Poly (California Polytechnic State University) in collaboration with M...
Don Willmott writes in Huffington Post about Nevada-based Algae Systems, which has built a test plant on Alabama's Mobile Bay to not only turn algae into diesel fuel but ...
Cellana, Inc., with operations in San Diego and Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, has announced that David Anton, Ph.D., has been appointed Chief Operating Officer and elected to the ...
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 ...
As one of the most water-poor countries in the world, Jordan’s current water resources are significantly below the global water scarcity line. Annual rainfall falls under...
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...
UC San Diego’s efforts to produce innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s environmental problems have resulted in a partnership with the region’s surfing indu...