Algae Biofuel, Part 2: The Dynamics of Growth

roachavocadoBiotechnology

Dec 14, 2012 (4 years and 4 months ago)

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Algae
Biofuel
,
Part 2:

The Dynamics of Growth & Production


Samuel Coe

samjcoe@gmail.com

Energy Law

Fall 2010

Overview


Algae Cultivation


Open Pond,
Photobioreator

and Hybrid Systems


Finding the Right Algae


Aquatic Species Program


Genetic Engineering


Regulatory Complications


Patent Protection


U.S. Government Algae Policy


International Influence


Future Predictions


“The successful growth of algae is more or less an art
and a daily tightrope act with the aim of keeping the
necessary prerequisites and various unpredictable
events involved in algal mass cultivation in a sort of
balance”
-

E. Wolfgang Becker

How does algae grow?


Sunlight, Water & Carbon Dioxide

From the Pond to the Fuel Pump

Open Pond Systems

Pond Pros & Cons

-
Low Costs

-
Easy to Operate and Maintain

-
High Contamination Risk

-
Lots of Water and Space

Closed
Photobioreactors

PB Pros & Cons


High Productivity, but High Costs

Early Algae PBs

MIT rooftop, circa.1950

Vertigro


Production potential of 100,000 oil gal/year for
each acre of bioreactors

Hybrid Systems


Innoculation


Grow the seed and set it free.


Wastewater Management


Carbon Capture


Algae Bioreactor attached to smoke stack at power plant
.

Finding the Right Algae


Over 40,000 species of algae have been
identified, likely hundreds of thousands
more to be discovered

Aquatic Species Program


U.S. Dep. of Energy & National
Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)


1978


1996


3,000 species of algae studied and
analyzed, only 51 labeled “high value”

Genetic Engineering of Algae

The Source of Algae Energy

Genetic “
Biomanufacturing



Biological Secretion of Lipids


No Need for Costly Physical Extraction

Dangers of Genetic Engineering?

-

“FrankenAlgae”

-

“Suicide Genes”

Genetically
-
Engineered Algae
Regulations


Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)


Plant Protection Act (PPA)


Conflicting Regulatory Agencies


E.P.A. v.
U.S.D.A?

Patent Protection for Algae Systems

Plant Patents


35 U.S.C.A
§

161: “Whoever invents or
discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct
and new variety of plant, including cultivated
sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found
seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant
or a plant found in an uncultivated state, may
obtain a patent therefor, subject to the
conditions and requirements of this title.”

The Pros & Cons of Algae Patents


Increased Incentive for Invention


IP Assets to Attract Further Investment


Big Oil Patent Hunting?


Litigation Risks

U.S. Algae Policy


Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA)


Section 228: Algal Biomass (R & D)


American Recovery & Reinvestment Act


Making Amends for Past Neglect?

International Algae


China, Japan, Argentina, New Zealand,
India, & more have joined the algae game

Future Predictions

Biofuel Vehicles

“Green” Buildings


More Research & Development


Further Private & Government Investment


Clearer Regulatory & Statutory Guidelines for
Algae Businesses

Conclusion