The Buzz

Oxford Study Highlights Advantages and Barriers for Algal Biodiesel

August 25, 2011
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Anew life cycle analysis by a team from the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, at the University of Oxford, states that algae-derived biodiesel could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and deliver a high financial return, while also providing a sustainable and realistic alternative to conventional oil.

The study, published in the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science, also suggests that If algae-derived biodiesel were to replace the annual global production of 1.1bn tons of conventional diesel, a landmass of 57.3 million hectares (142 million acres) would be required, comparing highly favorable to other biofuels.

The production process is the current barrier to large-scale production, says the report – currently 2.5 times as energy intensive as conventional diesel, which restricts the current financial and environmental feasibility of algae production. According to the study, “Investment in genetic and metabolic engineering will optimize the economics of producing microalgae, which, coupled with the decarbonization of the production chain, will realize the inherent environmental advantages of GHG emissions reduction.”

Professor Sir David King, Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, said, “We are staring in the face of a fossil fuel crisis and microalgae could present a real solution. The economics of producing microalgae biodiesel need to improve to make it a competitive product in the existing market, but the good news is that the level of improvement necessary appears to be attainable. With development and investment into process optimization, a high financial return is expected, since algae can be used to turn desert areas into energy sources.”

Tara Shirvani, lead author of the study, added, “Global vehicle ownership is forecast to reach two billion in the near future, and with 90% of transport fuels being hydrocarbon sourced, there is increasing urgency to find an alternative to depleting levels of conventional oil reserves and rising GHG emissions.

“Investment in reducing the production costs of algae-derived biodiesel, coupled with a decarbonization of national heat and electricity grids, will enable the transport sector to move towards low GHG emissions. Countries such as Brazil and France, which already largely operate on defossilized grids, will have a distinct advantage over nations operating on a carbon-based electricity and heat grid such as China.”

Read more

Go to HOME Page

Copyright ©2010-2011 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. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

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
Jessica D'Lima writes in AdvancedScienceNews.com that medicine is moving towards minimally invasive procedures, which have important patient-oriented benefits such as sho...
Jack Perry reports for the (Rhode Island) Providence Journal that Matthew Bertin, an assistant professor of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences at University of Rhode ...
According to Vegconomist.com, advanced ingredients company Noblegen, creator of proteins, carbohydrates, and oil ingredients from the single celled microorganism Euglena ...
Reebok has introduced a plant-based shoe that is in class with the best performance running sneakers on the market. The Forever Floatride GROW is the latest example of Re...
Hayley Dunning writes from the Imperial College of London that a new discovery has changed our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite t...
Maiki Sherman, traveling with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, reports for 1News Now that new innovation partnerships have been signed between New Zealand and J...
Judith Lewis Mernit writes in e360.yale.edu that an experiment being conducted by animal science professor Ermias Kebreab at the University of California, Davis, is testi...
Cornell University researchers have sequenced and analyzed the genome of a single-celled alga that belongs to the closest lineage to terrestrial plants and provides many ...
Israeli-based Algatechnologies, Ltd. (Algatech) has become the major shareholder in Supreme Health New Zealand, Ltd. (Supreme) to supply the rapidly growing markets in Ch...
The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) reports the introduction of the Algae Agriculture Act of 2018 (H.R. 5373), a bill that would give algae cultivators and harvesters ma...
Skara Bohny reports in Stuff.co.nz that New Zealand’s Cawthron Institute is receiving funding as part of the High-Value Nutrition’s (HVN) National Science Challenge to de...
A nasal spray derived from algae and a plant in the tobacco family could offer a preventive measure for COVID-19. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) and...