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PetroSun Drilling Forms Algae BioFuels Subsidiary

22 June 2006

PetroSun Drilling, an emerging provider of oilfield services to major and independent producers of oil and natural gas, has formed Algae BioFuels Inc. as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Algae BioFuels will engage in the research and development of algae cultivation as an feedstock in the production of biodiesel. The R&D and production facilities for Algae BioFuels will be based in Arizona and Australia.

Research is currently being conducted to determine the utilization of microalgae in fuel production, with applications being developed for biodiesel, ethanol, methanol, methane and even hydrogen. Independent studies have demonstrated that algae is capable of producing 30 times more oil per acre than the current crops now utilized for the production of biofuels. Algae biofuel contains no sulfur, is non-toxic and highly biodegradable.

The Office of Fuels Development, a division of the Department of Energy, funded a program from 1978 through 1996 under the National Renewable Energy Laboratory known as the Aquatic Species Program. The focus of this program was to investigate high-oil algae that could be grown specifically for the purpose of wide-scale biodiesel production. Some species of algae are ideally suited to biodiesel production due to their high oil content, in excess of 50%, and extremely rapid growth rates.

PetroSun’s formation of Algae BioFuels is a forward-looking strategy. The opportunity to produce a renewable energy product that will assist in providing a healthier planet for future generations cannot be ignored.

—L. Rayfield Wright, president of PetroSun

PetroSun’s current operations are concentrated in the Ark-La-Tex region with plans to expand into New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Australia in 2006. PetroSun provides a comprehensive array of products and services to the oil industry.

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June 22, 2006 in Biodiesel, Biotech | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack (1)

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Comments

Great idea, they can probably get CO2 from local coal power plants (there's one near Lake Powell, for example). There is plenty of uninhabited land in the chosen locations.

The tricky part will be managing the water consumption. Algae farming will take a large area, leading either to high rates of evaporation (if not covered) or high cost (if covered). Fresh water is scarce in both Arizona and Australia. The heat captured in covered pools is low grade (you cannot cook your algae) and therefore poorly suited to electricity generation.

Using marine algae and covered pools (possible floating on the ocean) would be another way to go and, produce thermally distilled water into the bargain. The Sea of Cortez (Baja California) might be suitable.

YeeeHaaaa,
Someone is taking this all the way to the bank!

Anybody: what about salt-water algae?

Rafael:
Salton Sea is another candidate. Free fertilzer from runoff, and the existing need to do something about the shrinking, increasingly polluted water presents an opportunity. The construction of one on the shores of the Salton Sea as a way to treat the water of excess nutrients before it reaches the ring/lagoon meant for wildlife. Water in the reservoirs of the Southwest could host containers/ bags made of recycled white plastic that have open tops and closed sides and bottoms to host and enclose algae. They will absorb excess fertilizer runoff. Piping in CO2 from power plants will help them grow.
_
____Don't forget power and other possibilites as well as well:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_thermal_energy_conversion

Rafael,
Since you look to be fairly knowledgeable about different stuff, you should look into that document that Mike provided in resources. Basically it’s a compilation of all different research that was done into algae. It’s kind of boring read, but there is a lot of information in there. You can also learn why they killed all the research into algae except of biological part. Hint: Projections that oil will be cheap for next 20 years, high price that cannot be subsidized by selling of other products, and no credits for carbon mitigation.
Other stuff covered: best places to put algae farms. Differences between open and closed ponds. Ponds on oceans. Using gas/coal power plants to increase amount of CO2 in ponds, etc.

If you read it, you wont be surprised why there is buzz about algae, and why some people try to revamp it.
Cheers,

Very, very nice. From my research algae is the only feedstock that can come cloes to replacing oil because of its very high yeilds per acre.

Didn't the existing oil (and natural gas?) deposits come from prehistoric algae? If so, it's more than a little "interesting" that we're now returning to algae as a way to make fuels. Just sayin'.

Nice one Lou, but oil also came from coral, and other plankton as well. Larger life forms might have contributed as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algaculture#Algae_as_an_energy_source

http://www.phyco.org/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/oil_from_algae/

http://www.oilalgae.com/

http://forums.biodieselnow.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12930

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/SC0605/S00030.htm
Marlborough-based Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation announced today that it had produced its first sample of home-grown bio-diesel fuel with algae sourced from local sewerage ponds.

Re flue gas fertilisation of algae. Already electricity generation from bituminous coal gets around 1kwh (3.6 MJ) per kilogram of CO2 emitted. The solar boost to the fuel value of the diesel would have to compensate for any power penalty at the coal plant. Therefore we would want at least 4 MJ of net energy (fuel + electricity) per kilo of tailpipe or vented C02.

From what little I know - Algae is the only biofuel I'm interested in. The others seem like wastes of time/money - for the US anyway. Hopefully we'll see some real results from this.

From what I've read, any system that involves flue gas CO2 injection isn't going to be more than a minor contributor to fuel supplies. What you really want is a system where CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere. To make that work well, I think you'd need alkaline growing conditions. Algae from soda lakes seem like a good bet -- these are among the most productive natural ecosystems out there.

Paul: Here's an article in the Toronto Star from last February about GreenFuel Tech.

A recent article on GreenFuel in the Christian Science Monitor likened the company's algae approach to "a breath mint for smokestacks." According to the article, citing one of the scientists behind GreenFuel, just one 1,000-megawatt power plant using this system could produce "more than 40 million gallons of biodiesel and 50 million gallons of ethanol a year."

The CSMonitor article they cite is now unavailable freely. However, the company claims there are 1,000 powerplants in the US with enough land nearby for algae production facilities, with a total potential of 40 billion gallons per year.

In another words, ~50 days worth of oil consumption, or ~100 dats worth of vehicular (land vehicle) fuel. Not excellent, but not bad either. It could be part, or a big chunk of the solution.

Our initial development plan which will be of great value to New Utopia is the cultivation of algae for biodiesel. We have over 400 square miles of suitable (60 feet depth) growing space. The published yield is 9,200,000 gallons of biodiesel per square mile of growing area per year. An area of 40 square miles dedicated to this effort would in theory produce 368 million gallons of biodiesel.

There is a great deal of interest in this technology, but no one has been able to garner a large enough parcel of land with all the attributes to do it on a scale such as we offer. It seems our territory is ideally suited for raising one the most prolific and profitable salt-water species. The fields would be encased in a rigid screen to protect and manage the algae. The ideal temperature, water depth, salinity and food source for the algae specie, which has in excess of 40% lipids (fat/oil content) 30 times as high as corn, soy beans or any other agriculture derived feed stock. For U.S. companies there is a $42 per barrel tax credit in addition to the value of the product.

http://chinese-school.netfirms.com/abacus-stocks-biodiesel.html

This would not only make us self-sufficient but would produce a great deal of income. True, there would be some development cost but much less than necessary in drilling/processing conventional oil and the supply/reserves would never run out. Assuming only a 40 year production scenario, this equates to 14,720,000,000 gallons or 294,400,000 barrels for usable product which does not require further refining to be used in your auto, boat or truck.

Our development plan may be found at http://www.tech-utopia.biz/PNU_devplan.pdf

Rafael,
The ultimate solution I believe: put sewage (after primary treatment) in an open algal pond for fuel production. In this case both the water and the fertilizer is free. Byproducts include clean water and fertilizer.

Added bonus: If there is a nearly source of flue gas, blow it through the pond. Both CO2 and NOx is removed and consumed by the algae. Note to Paul: Sure, the system will remove some CO2 from the environment. However, by the end of the day algal growth is limited by the available CO2. This has to do with mass transfer of CO2 from the air to the pond water. The flue gas will help to keep CO2 high and maintain high algal growth rate for even greater productivity.

As for the technology used to convert algal biomass to fuel: I would not limit it to biodiesel. A G-F/T system can use all forms of organic carbon and produce carrier fuels that are chemically identical with existing fuels. The benefit of this is no blending issues and no need to make any changes to the existing fleet of vehicles.

There are wind driven air compressors on the market that could pump air into algae ponds to improve CO2 capture and enhance growth. Pond scum to the rescue!

I SPOKE TO GREEN FUEL ABOUT A FLOTEING ALGAE FARM
AND I SAID PADDELWEELS ARE NOT NESSERY WAVE ACTION
FRESH WATER DISAL PLANT MINERALS FROM SEA WATER AND
FOTO ENERGY GAS FOR CO2 IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED
LEN RYAN

most power plants are on water floting algae polythylene
thin wall tubes co2 from power plants friction from wave action keeps algae in motion co2 from fluegas scrubbers feed algae farm.coal gasifacation is the future. two hundred years of coal is what the USA HAS.
LEN RYAN

National Algae Association
The Woodlands, Texas

Algae: The Next Biofuel
Is Black Gold Turning Green?

Inaugural

Algae Commercialization
Business Plan and Networking Forum

April 10, 2008

www.nationalalgaeassociation.com


I think this is "the way of the future" just as howard hughes would say. It would be great to team up with a company like Valcent. They have found a way to build a bioreactor that does not lose water due to evaporation, becuase it would be a closed loop production and not an open pond system like these people are doing it. Man we could give the finger to countries that are just having us by the bull nose ring.

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