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Permalink 04:35:51 pm, Categories: News, 90 words   English (US)

Jatropha in space

Florida Today reports on experiments by University of Florida researchers and South Florida's Vecenergy to find genetic variations in Jatropha suitable for oil production by flying samples in the International Space Station.

The experiments study cell cultures such as these: Cell cultures

"We are curious to learn what genes will be activated. Maybe some of those genes could help us develop new plants," Wagner Vendrame, University of Florida associate professor of horticulture, said. "They will get a tremendous variation. We know we are going to see something. We just don't know what."



Permalink 05:26:32 pm, Categories: News, 113 words   English (US)

NYTimes explores Algae as Fuel

Algae are attracting attention because the strains can potentially produce 10 or more times more fuel per acre than the corn used to make ethanol or the soybeans used to make biodiesel. Moreover, algae might be grown on arid land and brackish water, so that fuel production would not compete with food production. And algae are voracious consumers of carbon dioxide, potentially helping to keep some of this greenhouse gas from contributing to global warming.

Companies/organizations mentioned include:

No mention of local company PetroAlgae.



Permalink 05:11:24 pm, Categories: News, Background, 55 words   English (US)

Cloud point calculator

I ran into this cloud point data recently. As most of the commercial biodiesel recently available in this area is produced from an animal fat feedstock, this can help you determine a safe blending ratio based on expected low temperatures:

Cloud point calculator

This is from the "SBA Good Book of Biodiesel" produced by the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance.



Permalink 01:54:06 am, Categories: News, Background, 141 words   English (US)

Native American philosophy applied to Energy - Biodiesel from Algae

The NYTimes reports on the Southern Ute's decision to invest in biodiesel from algae. Besides the potential profit, the group uses a longer philosphical viewpoint:

“It’s a marriage of an older way of thinking into a modern time,” said the tribe’s chairman, Matthew J. Box, referring to the interplay of environmental consciousness and investment opportunity around algae. ... “It reminded people of herbs that are helpful here, like bear root, which is harvested in the mountains,”

A co-founder of their Solix Biofuels company puts it this way:

They’re making decisions now for future generations as opposed to the next quarter, and that is just fundamentally different.”

That reminds me of the Iroquois law:

"In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation... even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine."


Permalink 09:30:14 pm, Categories: News, 131 words   English (US)

PetroAlgae of Melbourne, FL at AFV 2009

PetroAlgae, a Melbourne FL based LLC, took part in the April 20th AFV 2009 session 'Organic Matters: Florida Agriculture Fueling Biofuels Growth' at AFV 2009. Fred Tennant, VP of Business Development, gave a presentation [2MB PDF] on the work being performed at PetroAlgae, including their 20 acre site for algae production in Fellsmere FL. He pointed out that oil produced from the algae has a viscosity somewhere between soy and palm oils. Their business model is based around licensing a modular algae production system for growth, harvesting, and processing of algae into oil, feed, and other products. Their algae strains are patented, and have gone through 20-30 thousand breeding cycles. Other presentations at the session included coverage of Jatropha, which was described as being able to grow, but not prosper, here in Central Florida.

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