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Algae.Tec Ltd. announced receipt of a validation report from Sydney Environmental and Soil Laboratory Pty Ltd., a National Association of Testing Authorities approved company.

Algae.Tec Chairman Roger Stroud is extremely pleased with the results of the validation that confirms the application and production capability of the Algae.Tec system in an industrial setting. 

Stroud said the algae yields achieved are of a sufficiently high level to justify the establishment of a new dedicated algae production facility at Nowra, south of Sydney in New South Wales.

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The overlap of climate change and global food production limitations is beginning to loom large for academics and policymakers, who are putting these two trend-lines together. If global population growth tracks as projected, we’ll see the nine billionth person born sometime in 2050. Add to that the rapidly increasing purchasing power of poorer nations and you get a world that will soon be demanding 50-70 percent more food (special emphasis on the meat and fish-based protein) than we produce today, according to a United Nations study. (Source: State of the World’s Land and Water Resources for Food and Agriculture”, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, November 2011)

Match this data with information leaked from the most recent IPCC report (to be published in March 2014) linking climate change with food supply disruptions. The leaked report points to a widening gap, with agricultural output rising a mere 2 percent each decade for the rest of the century, while the demand for food is projected to rise at a staggering 14 percent each decade during the same timeframe. In the face of a rising population, a more volatile climate and an increasingly difficult food production paradigm, new tools are needed to adapt to this new status quo.

Are current food production systems enough?

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Reuters reports that:
European Union plans to cap the use of food-based biofuels are a major setback for an industry once seen playing a central role in the fight against climate change, but now more often cast as the villain following a series of global food price spikes.

Industry sources and analysts predict the plan could trigger a wave of plant closures across Europe while questioning whether so-called advanced biofuels, often made from waste products, can play the greater role now envisioned by the European Commission.

The European Commission announced a major shift in biofuel policy on Monday, saying it plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5 percent of transport fuel, after campaigners said existing rules take food out of people’s mouths.

Biofuels made from food crops such as grains, sugar and vegetable oils, often called first generation biofuels, had been expected to provide the bulk of a target that 10 percent of all transport fuel should come from renewable sources by 2020.

The balance is now seen provided with a new generation of biofuels derived from waste products, grasses, the inedible parts of plants or a range of other non-food feedstocks including algae.

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Aviation Week reports from ILA Berlin Airshow following an interview with Algae.Tec:

“Biofuels for jet aircraft could be commercially viable and available in volume from 2014, according to experts at the alternative fuels pavilion here at the ILA Berlin Air Show.

Companies and airlines are making steady progress toward that goal, but there are still many obstacles, not least the question of project financing to build the plants to produce the fuel.

U.S.-Australian-based Algae.Tec is one company that could be producing jet fuel from algae in volume by then, says executive chairman Roger Stroud. His demonstration plant is up and running in Nowra, south of Sydney, Australia, and Algae.Tec is also running a demonstrator at its U.S. research center in Alpharetta, Georgia. The company’s process grows algae in a controlled environment in 40-ft shipping containers, feeding the algae nitrates and phosphorous, supercharging them with carbon dioxide and beaming in sunlight through fiber-optic cables. Algae reproduce in two hours, and are harvested continuously.

Carbon can be sourced from any industrial facility. Stroud estimates that one 1,000mW coal-fired electricity generating plant could provide enough carbon dioxide for an algae farm to produce 1-1/4 million tons of jet fuel a year.

Lufthansa, which uses 9 million tons of jet fuel a year, is in discussions with Algae.Tec, says Stroud, as the process is sustainable and does not compete with food resources. The airline insists that production should be in Europe, probably in the south as there is not enough sunshine year-round in Germany to grow the algae continuously.

Algae-Tec is currently having its processes validates by a third party, and aims to negotiate financing for its first commercial plant next year. It is studying four sites: two in the southwestern U.S., one in Brazil, and one in New South Wales.”

Watch a video of Algae.Tec’s process here.

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