Algae Research

Genetic modification saves energy

Genetic modification saves energy

With thousands of gallons of oil being lost to the sea each day and causing widespread ecological damage in the Gulf of Mexico, alternative sources of energy need to be cultivated. Our dependence on oil won't change overnight, however. Devices that run on solar, wind and water-power represent only a small portion of our overall energy consumption and many products are manufactured using oil. A cleaner, safer source of fuel might be found in genetically modified algae.

Algae fuel spawns investors; could it be a natural disaster?

Algae fuel spawns investors; could it be a natural disaster?It's jobs, it's economics, it's sustainability, and now its booming. Based on optimistic speculation, high risk companies are turning regions of the US  into research hubs in hopes of discovering a legitimate process for utilizing algae as an alternative to fossil fuel. But is the risk too high?

Algae, as an energy source, has been tampered with since the 90's. For years, researchers have understood its potential and have wanted to explore the extent of the autotrophic organisms, but have lacked the capital to make any sort of headway.

Now, with the boom of hybrid cars, awareness of alternative energy sources, and dwindling supply of fossil fuels like oil, algae research is making its way onto corporate and even government budgets.

Algae biofuels score $10m from BP, but Exxon wins at $600m

BP throws tiny $10m toward algae biofuels, Exxon’s at $600m BP recently announced an investment of $10 million in a new initiative to develop sugar to biodiesal methodologies. Essentially that means figuring out a way to convert sugar into fuel efficiently using microbial organisms like algae.

It’s good to hear that ranked by sales dollars, the third largest petroleum refining company in the world, BP, is making some movements toward sustainability. When it comes to algae though, Exxon has taken a strong lead with its investment of $600 million to develop hydrocarbons using algae processing.

Algae biofuels tempt Exxon enough to invest $600M

Algae biofuels tempt Exxon enough to invest $600M Exxon has openly rejected renewable energy for years, claiming that past experiments with alternative sources of energy were not successful. But given the pressures of the current market, that stance has shifted with a $600M investment in algae-biofuels that will fund research by Synthetic Genomics, Inc.

Synthetic Genomics is a biotech firm that specializes in “genomic-driven commercial solutions to revolutionize many of industries,” according to its web site. Essentially that sounds like experimenting with nature’s building blocks to create a life form that produces what we need. But how does algae translate into energy?

Recycle carbon dioxide using algae, another clean coal farse?

Recycle carbon dioxide using algae, another clean coal farse? Even though coal power is a primary source of electricity for many people right now, renewable incumbents like wind and solar power are slowly marginalizing its customer base. Owners of coal power plants are happy with their existing cash cows though, and certainly won’t give up their cash cows easily.

That’s partially why clean coal has received so much attention, and scientists are likely to receive a strong financial backing if they’re able to claim new efficiencies in coal processing. Some of those claims are more realistic than others, but Algenol Biofuels says it’s identified a way to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol.

Algae is smarter than the entire human race - living biofuel

Algae is smarter than the entire human race - living biofuel Somewhere in the history, or creation of the human race we became consumers. That meant searching for things like food for our bodies, materials for shelter and more recently electricity, which powers an ever-burgeoning demand for whizbang appliances and gadgets. But energy is where algae wins out against humans. It’s a simple plant with a genius biofuel solution that takes care of the energy needs of its entire population without visible limits.

Algae relies on the source of energy that powers most of Earth in one way or another, the sun. But short of a mutation in humans that allows intrinsic photosynthesis, we can’t measure up. That’s why researchers have sought for decades to understand how plants like algae convert sunlight into usable energy so efficiently, and now the focus is shifting from soil-based vegetation to the ocean.