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Saudi Arabia Biorefinery from Algae Project
October 15, 2012
alman Zafar writes in Ecomena.org that King Abdulaziz City for Science & Technology is funding an innovative project called the Saudi Arabia Biorefinery from Algae (SABA) Project, to screen species for lipid hyper-producers in Saudi Arabian coastal waters. These species will be the basis for the region’s next-generation algal biofuel production.
The primary mission of the SABA project is to develop the Algae Based Biorefinery (ABB) biotechnology, putting into operation innovative, sustainable, and commercially viable solutions for green chemistry, energy, bio-products, water conservation, and CO2 abatement – an approach that could strongly enhance Saudi Arabia’s economy, society and environment within the next 10 years.
The first phase of this project, titled “Screening for lipid hyper-producers species in Saudi Arabia coastal waters for Biofuel production from microalgae,” will build the basis for a large-scale system to produce diesel fuel and other products from algae grown in the ocean. It will ultimately produce competitively priced biofuel, scaling up carbon capture for a range of major environmental, economic, social and climate benefits in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.
The Project’s technology development is supported by a consortium of engineers and researchers in cooperation with industry organizations, international collaborators and the Riyadh Techno Valley, which will promote spin-offs and commercialization of the results. A strong research partnership was developed by the King Saud University / King Abdulah Institute for Nanotechnology with international research centers including The Centre of Marine Science and the Institute of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, both from Portugal.