The Berlin Airshow Show Daily and international aviation leader Flight Global interviews Algae.Tec at the Berlin Airshow:
“Algae need not be mere pond life – and it might just be the answer to airline calls for a green alternative to kerosene. AlgaeTec is at the show nine months after signing a memorandum of understanding with German carrier Lufthansa. The accord triggered joint evaluation of the potential for aviation biofuel to be developed from clear algae oil produced by the Australia-based company.
For airlines, algae is advantageous as a feedstock because it is not used in food production and so meets the strict requirement of sustainability – the “holy grail”, in the phrase of AlgaeTec’s Perth-based executive chairman Roger Stroud.
AlgaeTec deploys a proprietary technology based on enclosed steel photobioreactors – retrofitted 40ft (12m) shipping containers which are linked to solar light capture arrays.
The requirement for land space is commonly seen as a big obstacle to scale production of algae. But AlgaeTec says its process requires only 515ha (1,270 acres) to produce 100,000t of oil per year, where the comparative figure is 5,200ha for pond algae, 19,600ha for palm oil, 53,000ha for jatropha, 100,000ha for canola, 250,000ha for soy, 360,000ha for cotton, and a whopping 715,000ha for corn. And, unlike pond algae, AlgaeTec’s oil does not smell, says Stroud.” See more here
To the average Australian, the concept of “carbon capture” seems to have rapidly become a pie in the sky concept. The Rudd government came to power with a green agenda and set aside a lump of money in the budget finance carbon capture development, but the Gillard government has since scaled back its budget allocation in the race for surplus, at the same time introducing a carbon tax. When one talks of carbon capture the assumption is one of geosequestration – the pumping of CO2 into rock fissures in the hope the carbon will go away and not come back. Geosequestration development has to today amounted to a lot of talk but little action.
On the other side of the coin, airlines around the world are among those in the private sector looking at practical solutions to carbon emission reduction, and several carriers have been busy test-flying aircraft powered by various biofuel mixes. Commercial flights are in the offing. Airlines nevertheless represent only one sector investing practical ways of reducing a carbon footprint.
Germany’s Lufthansa is one such airline leading the charge towards substituting its standard fuels for cleaner biofuels. As part of its development process, Lufthansa signed a memorandum of understanding with Alage.Tec late last year to evaluate the potential of the company’s algae-sourced biofuel production system. For the production of biofuel, the Algae.Tec proprietary algal growth system requires sunlight and CO2 emissions. Neither is hard to find, but yesterday the company passed its first significant milestone when its small demonstration plant in Nowra, NSW, was “switched on” by the NSW minister for Resources and Energy. Read More
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Domestic Fuel: Algae Plant in Australia Commissioned
HUNDREDS of jobs could be created as algae blooms in the Shoalhaven.
The Algae Tec test facility on Bomaderry’s Manildra site was officially turned on during a ceremony yesterday, sparking the beginning of a test phase to verify whether algae can be viably produced as a commercial fuel source.
Algae Tec chairman Roger Stroud was confident the process was not only viable but could quickly be expanded to about 2000 shipping containers growing algae in optimised conditions on land near Bolong Road. Read More
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