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Catilin Contributes Key Extraction, Sequestration and Conversion Technologies to NAABB Consortium Developing Algal Biofuels

Catilin, Inc., a biofuels catalyst technology company (earlier post), will embark a $5.3 million project over the next three years as part of the $44 million DOE Investment for Advanced Biofuels Research and Fueling Infrastructure award made to Catilin’s consortium, National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB). (Earlier post.)

Catilin and its partner, Iowa State University - Center for Catalysis (ISU-CCAT), will provide key extraction, sequestration and conversion technologies. The NAABB consortium is made up of 26 groups from both the private and public sector and is led by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

Catilin and ISU-CCAT, members of the NAABB, will build on their algal oil extraction technology using mesoporous nanoparticles to selectively extract and sequester targeted fuel-relevant and high value compounds within the algal lipid mixture. The balance of the algal oil, which contains free fatty acids (FFA) and triglycerides, will be converted to biodiesel using Catilin’s commercially available T300 catalyst. The pilot scale work will be completed at Catilin’s currently operating 300,000 gallon per year pilot plant.

Catilin has been closely aligned with ISU-CCAT since 2007 when Professor Victor Lin of Iowa State University founded Catilin with financial support from Mohr Davidow Ventures of Menlo Park, CA.


Henry Gibson

Renewable biofuels are by their very nature inconsistent with the ecological protection of the natural environment. Solar energy for plant growth is more efficiently used by parabolic solar concentrators that provide high temperatures for Stirling engine operation and no water or fertilizers are required. Gas turbines also can use concentrated solar heat more efficiently than plants or photo-voltaic cells. Plug-in-hybrid automobiles can use such solar energy electricity at far higher efficiency than biofuels. ..HG..


OK so with solar thermal plants the energy problem is solved, I can buy that. Maybe transport too, but we have to consider the extraordinary amount of resources to build all those batteries - that has an ecological cost too. Then, will we produce food with electricity too? Or with our bare hands? (I'm all for it but it ain't gonna happen for all of us tomorrow). Otherwise your talking about major retrofit or replacement a whole lot of equipment that runs on petroleum products. To me there's no doubt that biological resources must play a role in weaning us off petroleum/coal products that our society relies on for more than just energy. Solar thermal systems are definitely a huge part of the solution and could be even be linked up with biofuels processes.

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