Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


World’s First Sample Of Bio-Diesel From Algae

Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation
MEDIA RELEASE
May 11, 2006. 8.00 a.m.

Marlborough Company Produces World’s First Sample Of Bio-Diesel From Algae Extracted From Region’s Sewerage Ponds

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.

“We believe this is the world’s first commercial production of bio-diesel from algae outside the laboratory, in ‘wild’ conditions. To date, bio-diesel from algae has only been tested under controlled laboratory conditions with specially selected and grown algae crops,” explains Aquaflow spokesperson Barrie Leay.

Bio-diesel could eventually become a sustainable, low cost, cleaner burning fuel alternative for New Zealand, powering family cars, trucks, buses and boats. It can also be used for other purposes such as heating or distributed electricity generation.

The breakthrough comes after technology start-up, Aquaflow, formed an agreement late last year with Marlborough District Council to undertake a pilot to extract algae from its excess pond discharge.

Algae are the simplest plant organisms that convert sunlight and carbon dioxide in the air around us, into stored energy through the well understood process of photosynthesis. Although the exact bio-diesel manufacturing technology is a well-guarded secret, the process involves processing the algae pulp before extracting lipid oil which is turned into bio-diesel.

“Although algae are good at taking most of the nutrients and chemicals out of sewage, too much algae can taint the water and make it smell. So, councils have to find a way of cleaning up the excess algae in their outflow and recycling the waste product. And that’s where Aquaflow comes in,” says Leay.

By taking the waste product, Aquaflow can create bio-diesel and remove a problem for councils by producing useful clean water, a process known as bio-remediation. Dairy farmers, and many food processors too, could also benefit from recycling their waste streams that algae thrives in.

Blended with conventional mineral diesel, bio-diesel could run vehicles without the need for vehicle modifications. It would also help to meet the New Zealand Government B5 (5% blended) fuel targets by 2008 moving up to B20 as bio-fuel production increases.

Aquaflow was formed in October 2005 and its major shareholders are technology start-up expert, Nick Gerritsen; and successful renewable energy developers Vicki Buck and Barrie Leay. CEO Teresa Williams, who has a background in information technology and management from the UK, was appointed in December 2005. The company’s technical expert is Bill Rucks who has a background in aquaculture.

Aquaflow’s next step is to increase the production from its new technology and test its product in a range of diesel engines. It has recently applied for funding for further research and development of the technology from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. There will be an opportunity for further private investment when Aquaflow updates its share register shortly.

“The market potential for this product is almost unlimited in the ‘Peak Oil’ environment we are in, as there is now a global demand for bio-diesel of billions of litres per year,” says Leay.

Leay adds that Aquaflow would begin commercial production immediately on a small scale, and gradually build it up as optimal scale manufacturing technology was proven. Production is somewhat weather-dependant as algae thrive better on high sunshine levels. Consequently, sunny Blenheim was selected as the ideal environment to start in.

“We expect to produce at least 1,000,000 litres of bio-diesel per year from Blenheim,” says Leay.

Aquaflow could reproduce the bio-diesel process in many other areas of New Zealand and overseas countries could also be interested in the technology.

Unlike some bio-fuels which require crops to be specially grown and thereby compete for land use with food production, and use other scarce resources of fuel, chemicals and fertilizers, the source for algae-based bio-diesel already exists extensively and the process produces a sustainable net energy gain by capturing free solar energy from the sun.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news