The first pair of vehicles to run on algae biodiesel was introduced at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. These new street machines were exhibited outside the world premier of the Fields of Fuel. It was a Josh Tickell’s remarkable documentary about biodiesel and the state of the world dependent on petroleum. This documentary was said to be amazing and is full of infos about this new biodiesel invention.

The algal biodiesel vehicles are the first to utilize a potentially revolutionary means to grow algae for the biodiesel production. A San Francisco based synthetic biology company the Solazyme is the first one that developed a way in order to grow algae that can significantly hi jacks the photosynthetic process to optimize oil production. Just like any reliable photosynthetic organism, the algae essentially convert the energy of the sun into sugars that powers the oil-producing process that is 50% of the algae oil. However, giving enough amount of sunlight to the algae is one of the hindrances in allowing these organisms to grow. So what the scientists did is escape the sunlight thing and just feed the algae sugar. Solazyme feeds sugar to specialized strains of growing algae that can be grown in the dark. The good news is, Solazyme has now produced thousands of gallons of the algae biodiesel with the potential to mass produce in the next two years.

In addition to this, Solazyme is also planning to combine cellulosic ethanol and algae biodiesel production technology. They believe that this process can give more energy balance than either one alone. So they are going to buy sugar which includes including cellulosically-derived sugar produced made by the cellulosic ethanol companies, to feed to their algae. For them, the most efficient process to in growing the micro-algae is to short-circuit the the cellulosic ethanol process and diverting the sugar. In harvesting the materials for the cellusolic production needs diesel machinery. And by employing the biodiesel in the said equipment helps in reducing the energy and carbon balance of the entire process. By creating biodiesel from the algae and then sending the biodiesel back into the cellulosic ethanol producers, they can significantly close the loop part and enhance the entire process.

This latest innovation will definitely help our economy. It’s a good thing they invented a new way to help our environment as well. I salute these guys who created this algae biodiesel. But just wonderin’ if the performance is good as well..hmm..probably I’ll research on that later..


~ by khia0486 on April 22, 2008.

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