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PetroAlgae to Partner with IndianOil Company on Algae-Based Fuels

Florida-based PetroAlgae Inc. (PA) (earlier post) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter into an agreement to license its proprietary micro-crop technology to IndianOil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for the future commercial-scale production of biodiesel from algae. ICOL is the 18th largest petroleum company in the world, and is currently India’s largest company by sales.

IOCL and PetroAlgae will initially collaborate on adapting the algal strains and technology developed by PA to suit Indian conditions. Thereafter, IOCL will build a pilot to demonstrate the commercial viability of the technology. A commercial production facility with a capacity of 200,000 TPA of biodiesel would follow, which would also produce a high-value protein that can be used as feedstock for animal feed production as a by-product.

PetroAlgae is focused on increasing the productivity of micro-crops—e.g., algae, micro-angiosperms, cynaobacter, diatoms—to produce a cost-effective feedstock for the subsequent production of drop-in renewable diesel (hydrocarbon, not biodiesel). PetroAlgae says it has access to more than 150 micro-crop strains.

PetroAlgae’s basic business model is to license to national oil companies, refining companies, and food companies. The licensee pays all capex, and provides CO2, land and water. The company envisions licenses on a unit basis: 5,000 hectares (12,355.27 acres) per unit, with each unit targeted to produce 250-350 thousand metric tons of micro-crop-derived oil per year (20.2 to 28.3 tonnes·ac-1·yr-1), as well as 90-120 thousand metric tons of protein per year.

With an estimated algae oil density of 918 kg·m-3 (Weyer et al.), those projected results deliver a claimed per acre yield of about 5,800 - 8,100 gal·ac-1·yr-1—substantially higher than current commercial algae production, and pushing the bounds of best-case algae-production scenarios modeled by researchers from Solix Biofuels, Colorado State University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (earlier post).

IndianOil has been exploring commercial ventures in all form of alternate energy including, solar, wind and bio-fuels. The company has already completed an 850 ha jatropha plantation in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. During the next season, almost 40,000 ha of plantation is proposed to be completed along with commercial marketing of biodiesel through IndianOil-CREDA Biofuels Limited.

Resources

  • PetroAlgae overview

  • Kristina M. Weyer, Daniel R. Bush, Al Darzins, Bryan D. Willson (2009) Theoretical Maximum Algal Oil Production, Bioenerg. Res. doi: 10.1007/s12155-009-9046-x

Comments

kelly

"The company envisions licenses on a unit basis: 5,000 hectares (12,355.27 acres) per unit, with each unit targeted to produce 250-350 thousand metric tons of micro-crop-derived oil per year (20.2 to 28.3 tonnes·ac-1·yr-1), as well as 90-120 thousand metric tons of protein per year."

Sounds serious..

Gorr

Im asking from months and months to start a green algae farm near where i live for producing butanol( gasoline equivalent ) for fueling my dodge neon 2005 5 speeds manual transmission. It cost 100 000$ of less as an investment, no need for scientifics state subsidies and tons of commercial no non sence ' patents ' and large scale producing facilities, just start some small facilities there and there. Also start green algae farming at every big chimneys that expel co2, co2 is polluting except if it feed algae where it is transformed into useful products. A natural gas electric plant or a coal plant can cut nearly 100% of his feedstock cost by recycling over and over again the co2 instead of expelling it 100% into the atmosphere.

arnold

This could be the next green revolution.
Let's see water remediation as a key outcome incentive.
The scale envisioned and the intellectual and human resources available suggests rapid diversification.

That this large petro co is driving this is an indication of proper resourcing.
There could be much work for the new environmental graduate cohorts to ensure best practice.

sulleny

Agree with comments. This is a key to liquid fuels for heavy lifting. The big oil boys are not missing this boat either - Ex-Mob is in bed with Venter and already investing large scale funds.

http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/23039/?a=f

More good news.

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