October 12, 2009

Green Plains Renewable Energy and BioProcessAlgae to Unveil Phase I Algae Project in Shenandoah, Iowa -- Governor Chet Culver to Attend

OMAHA, NE -- 10/12/09 -- Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE) announces the unveiling of BioProcessAlgae, LLC's Phase I photobioreactor pilot project. Green Plains is hosting the event at its Shenandoah, Iowa ethanol plant on October 14, 2009 in conjunction with the Iowa Power Fund Board meeting. BioProcessAlgae has completed the installation of Phase I of the multi-phase pilot project and algae production has commenced at the plant. The Company's research team will begin to collect production data over the next 120 days from the pilot project that will be instrumental in determining the scalability and functionality for future commercial deployment.

"We have directly linked the carbon dioxide (CO2) from the plant into our algae producing Grower Harvester(TM) technology and we believe this to be the first ever deployment of this type in the United States," stated Tim Burns, Chief Executive Officer of BioProcessAlgae, LLC. "The objective of this multi-phase pilot project is to gather critical data to determine the scalability of our Grower Harvester technology as we look to commercialize it in the future. Our focus is to perfect the growing and harvesting of algae in an industrial process."

"We are excited by the opportunities this technology offers to sequester the CO2 emitted at our ethanol plants," said Todd Becker, President and Chief Executive Officer of Green Plains Renewable Energy. "Our plants have warm water, waste heat and C02 which provide a perfect environment for the BioProcessAlgae Grower Harvester technology to be deployed. The algae produced have the potential to be used for advanced bio-fuel production, high quality animal feed, or as biomass for energy production, but our focus is solely on efficiently growing algae and sequestering carbon dioxide at this point."

"We are honored to have Iowa Governor Chet Culver attend this technology unveiling. The State of Iowa has been extremely supportive of this project, with the Iowa Power Fund providing a matching funds grant of $2.1 million for research and development. We firmly believe this technology has the potential to significantly help the environment, the ethanol industry and the Iowa economy," Becker added.

About BioProcessAlgae, LLC.

BioProcessAlgae LLC is a joint venture between Green Plains Renewable Energy (NASDAQ: GPRE), water filtration group CLARCOR Inc. (NYSE: CLC), BioProcessH2O LLC and NTR plc, the international renewable energy group. BioProcessAlgae was created to commercialize advanced photobioreactor technologies for the growing and harvesting of algal biomass.

About Iowa Power Fund

The Power Fund was created to be a tool for the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, the Power Fund Board, and the Due Diligence Committee to use to promote the goals of Iowa energy independence. Power Fund money is appropriated to the office to be used in providing financial assistance to entities conducting business, research, or programs in Iowa: (1) to accelerate research and development, knowledge transfer, technology innovation, and improve the economic competitiveness of efforts and (2) to increase the demand for and educate the public about technologies and approaches.

About Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc.

Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRE) is North America's fourth largest ethanol producer, operating six ethanol plants in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Tennessee with a combined expected operating capacity of 480 million gallons of ethanol per year. Green Plains also operates an independent third-party ethanol marketing service that currently provides marketing services to its affiliated plants as well as four third-party ethanol producers with expected operating capacity of 360 million gallons per year. Green Plains owns 51% of Blendstar, LLC, a Houston-based biofuel terminal operator with six facilities in five states. Green Plains' agribusiness segment operates grain storage facilities and complementary agronomy, feed, and fuel businesses in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota.

Safe Harbor

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements are identified by the use of words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "will," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with any discussion of future operating or financial performance. Such statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to various factors, risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, outcome of events, timing and performance to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Green Plains may experience significant fluctuations in future operating results due to a number of economic conditions, including, but not limited to, competition in the ethanol industry, risks associated with commodity market risks, financial market risks, counter-party risks, risks associated with changes to federal policy and/or regulation, the successful completion of the multi-phase pilot project and the ability to scale, deploy and market a commercially viable algae photobioreactor and other risks detailed in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2008 and in the Company's subsequent filings with the SEC. Green Plains assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The cautionary statements in this report expressly qualify all of our forward-looking statements. In addition, the Company is not obligated, and does not intend, to update any of its forward-looking statements at any time unless an update is required by applicable securities laws.

Company Contact:
Jim Stark
Vice President - Investor Relations
Green Plains Renewable Energy, Inc.
(402) 884-8700

Investor Contact:
John Baldissera
BPC Financial Marketing
(800) 368-1217

EmergingGreenCompanies.com Announces Its Airing of an Interview With Mr. Dennis Fisher

LAS VEGAS, NV -- 10/12/09 -- EmergingGreenCompanies.com today announced its airing of an interview done with Mr. Dennis Fisher of Biocentric Energy Holdings Inc. (PINKSHEETS: BEHL) from the Algal Biomass Summit in San Diego, California.

During the interview Mr. Fisher discusses key items related to the summit, and explains how the merger will take place for his company.

More videos will be released most likely today showcasing our coverage.

The Summit itself was a three-day event exploring the development of algae-based solutions to global energy, environmental, and economic issues.

The Algal Biomass Summit coverage will be able to be viewed by clicking on the following link to the Emerging Green Companies Media page.


About BioCentric Energy Holdings, Inc.

BioCentric Energy Holdings, Inc. is dedicated to the development of new technologies as well as acquiring and fostering companies with innovative technologies designed to provide unique and effective green energy and alternative fuel solutions for the 21st century. Along with the cultivation of important relationships and partnerships with synergistic entities, BioCentric Energy has devoted substantial time and effort in research and development in order to bring a range of innovative green fuel and nutritional alternatives to the marketplace. www.biocentricenergy.com & www.biocentricenergyalgae.com

About EmergingGreenCompanies.com (www.emerginggreencompanies.com)

EmergingGreenCompanies.com is a website that puts its main focus on showcasing companies that are "Going Green," and that are future leaders in the "Green Movement." Please see the website for additional information and full disclaimer. www.emerginggreencompanies.com/disclaimer.html

See the video of this release: http://www.vodnewswire.com/vodnewswire/news/emerging-green-20091012/

Safe Harbor Statement: This release includes forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as BEHL or its management "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "foresees," "forecasts," "estimates" or other words or phrases of similar import. Similarly, statements herein that describe the Company's business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals also are forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements.

Information at:
E-mail: Questions@EmergingGreenCompanies.com

Algae on Front Lines of Search for Fossil Fuel Replacements

As America’s dependence on foreign oil continues to grow, investors are looking to alternative fuels to usher in a new age of energy usage.

And San Diego is emerging as a leader in the clean technology sector, with 672 companies focused on clean tech in the region.

The significant increase in activity was a highlight of an event last week kicking off the 2009 Algae Biomass Summit held in San Diego Oct. 7-9.

The event was hosted by CleanTech San Diego, a nonprofit organization focused on accelerating local leadership in the clean tech sector.

“San Diego has so many companies working on this problem that we’re establishing ourselves as a name in the clean tech sector,” said county Supervisor Ron Roberts during the opening press conference on the deck of the USS Midway. “The city has made strides to make itself more open to clean tech companies and I think we’re seeing the results.”

One solution to the search for alternative fuels highlighted during the event was algae.

La Jolla-based Sapphire Energy, a front-runner of algal-based biofuel research, is able to produce a low-carbon alternative to petroleum-based fuels such as renewable “green” gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.

Funded by venture capital firms Arch Venture Partners, The Wellcome Trust and Venrock, Sapphire’s research begins with determining the traits of more than 8,000 strains of algae a day. Once strains are identified that contain positive traits, they’re duplicated and left to grow.

When mature, the algae is dried and the oils are extracted and synthesized into fuel.

“Algae is ideal because it takes sunlight and some nutrients and through this process we’re able to turn that into liquid hydrocarbons,” said Cynthia Warner, president of Sapphire Energy. “And another selling point is the conversion between fossil fuels to algal-based ones is perfectly smooth, there’s no need to convert existing technology into something new to make it work.”

Sapphire’s research into algal-based fuels has yielded not only results but garnered significant attention from investors, which is partially due to California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, a policy Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asserted by an executive order in 2007.

The policy mandates that by 2020 fuels must have less carbon content in them, thereby fueling research in alternatives to oil and in emissions reduction.

Investors see operations like Sapphire as a much more secure investment due to the legislation that is indirectly backing their vision.

Agriculture and Algae Coexist Uneasily in Imperial Valley

CALIPATRIA, Calif. -- With 360 days a year of pure, unclouded sun, California's Imperial Valley has the potential to become the Silicon Valley of renewable energy. Assuming, for example, that a technology based on extracting oil from algae proves itself on a commercial scale, this place has much of the right stuff.

It has an overabundance of labor. The arid region bordering Mexico has a 24.5 percent unemployment rate. Of those who are employed, 15 percent work in the agriculture industry, which exists thanks to 1,500 miles of canals and enormous, historic allotments of river water. The main crops are feedstocks like alfalfa and hay and vegetables for human consumption, like lettuce, onions and sweet corn.

"Imperial ranks dead last in terms of economic vitality," Brian Brady, general manager of the Imperial Irrigation District, told potential investors and researchers from China, India, Australia, Spain, France and the United States last week. "We are totally motivated to bring in industry, particularly green industry."

But the key question mark is water. Can the Imperial Valley achieve its goal of becoming the renewable energy capital of the United States while maintaining its farmland?

The challenge for county officials lies in balancing the existing agriculture industry and its defense of entrenched water rights with the desire to draw new jobs in potentially water-heavy industries.

Farmers are leery of their new neighbors

A number of algae companies sprouting up in the area 100 miles east of San Diego are trying to scale up their operations to produce biofuels in mass quantities. While they say they plan to move to wastewater, salt water and other brackish sources, like the nearby Salton Sea, most demonstration and pilot projects are using fresh water, to better identify the hardiest, most oil-rich algae strains. Open-pond operations like Biolight Harvesting also must contend with evaporation rates of up to 5 millimeters per day, or 7 acre-feet a year.

Imperial County is willing to put its water where its mouth is. The Imperial Irrigation District recently approved an allotment of 25,000 acre-feet per year for renewable energy installations over the next five to 10 years, with an additional 75,000 acre-feet possible after five years. That's out of 3 million acre-feet total in water deliveries from the Colorado River -- water rights secured almost a century ago, of which agriculture currently uses 97 percent.

Brady said water was a top concern for foreign investors and businesses. "When we go to China, one of the first questions is, 'Are you sure there's water?'" he said. "We're really fortunate this allotment off the Colorado was secured way back in the '20s. We're committed to it not changing."

The irrigation district conducted workshops with farmers to gain support. But some are still leery of renewables' effect on land and water.

"Water flows where the money is," said Heidi Kuhn, a cattle and dairy farmer who joined researchers, investors and algae growers on a tour of the valley last week. "If algae farming produces more money than commercial farming, you will see water go to algae farmers."

Tough economic decisions ahead

Kuhn warned that farmers might be prickly neighbors. "Stick to the marginal land," she said. "Use our manure; help us deal with the salt.

"If we could look to you as partners in reclaiming dairy runoff, we'd welcome you."

One of the industry's leading scientists, Scripps Research Institute biologist Stephen Mayfield, espoused the same free-market attitude with respect to land-use policy.

"Although it's great for us to sit here and say we're not going to compete with water or food, at $30,000 an acre, that's an economic decision farmers are going to have to decide on their own," he said at last week's Algae Biomass Summit in San Diego, citing estimates from the University of California, Berkeley's Energy Biosciences Institute. "This is America, it's called capitalism, and these decisions are going to be made by someone other than you and I."

In addition to its burgeoning algae farms, Imperial Valley has 17 geothermal plants currently operating and at least 30 other renewable projects in the pipeline. Investor-owned utility San Diego Gas & Electric is building a 500-kilovolt transmission line, known as the Sunrise Powerlink, to the area and expects to use it to meet a state renewable energy target of 33 percent by 2020.

Stirling Energy Systems, which is planning to start construction next year on a 750-megawatt concentrated solar thermal plant in the Imperial Valley, skirted the water issue by using treated wastewater from the town of Seeley. It agreed to pay for an upgrade of the town's wastewater treatment plant in exchange for the water. Overall, the plant will use 33 acre-feet of water annually, low by solar thermal standards, a company spokesman said.

"This isn't agricultural land, and we're using 1,000 times less water than some of our competitors," said Sean Gallagher.

StatoilHydro funds algae project

Norway’s energy company StatoilHydro has invested $3 million (€2 million) in the Chesapeake Algae Project (ChAP) in Virginia, US.

The College of William and Mary and its Virginia Institute of Marine Science have formed the collaborative research initiative to investigate a promising new technology to produce biofuel from the algae growing naturally in rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

The enterprise is an integrated research approach to algae-based energy production and environmental remediation. Other key partners are the Williamsburg energy advisory firm Blackrock Energy, the University of Maryland, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Arkansas and HydroMentia, a Florida company that works with water-treatment technologies.

The project involves the entire
process of producing biofuels, from algal growth to harvesting, extracting the oil and other projects from the algae, processing the oil and producing the final biofuel product.

The project was initiated by exploring, among others, technology originally developed by the Smithsonian Institution as an efficient, large-scale aquarium filter. A test site has been operating at VIMS, using brackish York River water, and a second test station is planned for Lake Matoaka on the William & Mary campus.

Algae are good candidates for use as biofuel because of their rapid growth rates, ability to take-up nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and some of these aquatic plants have as much as 50% oil content, depending on environmental factors.

ChAP differs from other algal biofuel initiatives in two ways.
The project is going to work with many species of algae, as opposed to concentrating on farming a monoculture, or attempting to contain genetically modified algae in open-water environments.

Most current algae studies focus on one high-yield species or strain of algae, but using a polyculture approach makes the algae less susceptible to disease and generally more robust. One of the goals of ChAP will be to develop processes to maximise the effective energy yield from a harvest that varies in oil content.

The other difference is that the process is designed to work without competing with either fresh-water supplies or agricultural resources.

October 11, 2009

Biocentric Energy Algae Harvest Video

Navy to test algae for alternative fuel

Solazyme has received a contract to continue its work stimulating various strains of algae to produce an alternative energy source for the U.S. Navy.

San Francisco-based Solazyme received the contract from the Defense Energy Support Center. Under an estimated $8.5 million deal, Solazyme will continue development of a technology for algae oil derived F-76 as a potential alternative energy source the Navy.

Officials say the Navy is expected to use the algae oil in a future alternative fuels testing and certification program.

"This is an important first step with algae oil derived alternative fuels," Kim Huntley, Defense Energy Support Center director, said in a statement.

"Not only are we helping the Navy meet its energy security and alternative fuels objectives, this contract also demonstrates the continued successful partnering of Defense Energy Support Center with our warfighter customers to help them meet their emergent energy needs."

New Energy Solution Emerging for Warfighters

FORT BELVOIR, Va., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Defense Energy
Support Center announced a contract award to Solazyme, Inc., San Francisco,
for a technology advancing requirement for algae oil derived F-76, an energy
fuel the U.S. Navy is scheduled to use in its alternative fuels testing and
certification program.

The estimated $8.5 million dollar contract represents the continued commitment
by the Department of Defense to move toward an environment of energy
independence and the use of alternative fuels.

"This is an important first step with algae oil derived alternative fuels,"
said Kim Huntley, DESC's director. "Not only are we helping the Navy meet its
energy security and alternative fuels objectives, this contract also
demonstrates the continued successful partnering of DESC with our warfighter
customers to help them meet their emergent energy needs."

The awarded Solazyme contract evaluates a technology developed by the company,
which uses new advances in genetic engineering to stimulate various strains of
algae to produce a diesel fuel that is an alternative to petroleum produced
from crude oil. The company will produce 20,055 gallons of the product that
will meet the specifications of F-76.

"DESC is partnering with the Navy to move this alternative fuel demonstration
forward," said Mark Iden, deputy director of operations for DESC. "This
initiative also supports the DoD's desire to meet the intent and goals of the
Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of

Iden added that these contracts will help DoD comply with the lowered
lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions requirements of these acts and will also
increase energy security by using domestic resources.

This contract is among others the DESC is awarding in support of alternative
fuels and energy sources.

Sustainable Oils, LLC, Seattle, was awarded a Hydrotreated Renewable HRJ-5
contract award for 40,000 gallons. This contract, valued at about $2.7
million, supports the Navy's fuel certification testing program of alternative
fuels. The fuel itself is produced solely from camelina feedstock.

"While these contracts are now awarded, we expect more to be announced
shortly," added Huntley. "DESC's mission is to provide the DoD, other
government agencies and our customers with energy solutions in the most
efficient and economical manner possible. With the continued growing
technology in the alternative fuels and renewable energy field, our energy
solutions continue to expand, and this first step with algae oil derived F-76
is an excellent example. We are moving forward."

The DESC is a field activity of the Defense Logistics Agency. As the
Department of Defense's combat logistics support agency, DLA is responsible
for providing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies,
and joint and allied forces with a variety of logistics, acquisition and
technical services. These services include procuring and distributing nearly
five million separate line items such as rations, medical supplies and
equipment, clothing and textiles, repair parts for land, sea and air weapons
systems and platforms, fuel and energy services. DLA is headquartered at Fort
Belvoir, Va., and employs 24,000 civilian and military personnel, with fiscal
2008 business revenues of $42 billion. For more information about DLA, go to
www.dla.mil. For information about the DESC, go to www.desc.dla.mil.

SOURCE Defense Energy Support Center

Technology strikes a chord with algal biofuels

An award-winning Los Alamos National Laboratory sound-wave technology is helping Solix Biofuels, Inc. optimize production of algae-based fuel in a cost-effective, scalable, and environmentally benign fashion—paving the way to lowering the carbon footprint of biofuel production.

Algae innards contain a high concentration of lipids, or oils. These lipids can be extracted by a relatively simple chemical process and concentrated into "biocrude" -- or "green gold" -- an alternative to crude oil that can be refined into biodiesel, gasoline, or even jet fuel.

Acoustic-focusing—the novel use of sound waves at the heart of the Los Alamos Acoustic Flow Cytometer, a 2007 R&D100 Award-winning technology—is being harnessed and commercialized in partnership with Solix to harvest algae for fuel. The work is part of a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) between the Laboratory and Solix.

In order to turn algae into transportation fuel, the tiny plant-like organisms first must be separated from their watery home and the growth medium used to sustain them. Current methods rely on giant centrifuges to separate liquids from algae solids. Centrifuges take a lot of power to operate, raising production costs and increasing the process' overall carbon use. Moreover, standard fuel-conversion methods extract lipids from the algae using solvents that are potentially hazardous to humans and the environment, and costly to dispose of.

Thanks to use of Los Alamos's acoustic-focusing technology, the algae-water-growth-medium mixture is subjected to ultrasonic fields that concentrate the algal cells into a dense sludge. This combined separation and concentration method uses hundreds of times less power than centrifuges. The Lab's lipid extraction and fractionation technique also avoids the need for costly, hazardous solvents.

Under the CRADA, Los Alamos bioscientist Greg Goddard and Solix's cofounder and chief technology officer, Bryan Willson—an engineering professor at Colorado State University and founder of the university's Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory—will develop by year end a working extraction prototype using the licensed acoustic-focusing technology at Solix headquarters in Fort Collins, Colorado. The technology then will be deployed to Solix's Coyote Gulch Demonstration Facility near Durango, Colorado, for real-world production of lower-cost biofuel.

Los Alamos and Solix's work in the biofuels arena makes both entities members of the 2009 National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB). The Alliance is a consortium of government, university, and private-sector organizations working to forge the technical foundation for a scalable, responsible, and renewable biofuels industry.

Creation of the Alliance was born of the urgent need to develop renewable and sustainable sources of transportation fuels in a manner that minimizes emissions of "greenhouse gasses" such as carbon dioxide, uses a relatively small amount of land, is frugal with energy, and conserves water. The Alliance will develop new technologies and processes to support widespread commercialization of algae-based fuels and useful byproducts.

Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory

UC Santa Barbara Receives NSF Grant to Preserve Herbarium, Algae Collections

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 3 (AScribe Newswire) -- Tucked away in a room beneath the bleachers at the south end of UC Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium, the 100,000 specimens stored in the herbarium of the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) are about to get a much-needed new home.

Thanks to a $272,162 grant from the National Science Foundation, as well as the generosity of the family of former UCSB Chancellor Vernon Cheadle, the Cheadle Center will soon have a new compact storage system to replace the herbarium's World War II-era cabinets. In addition to preserving the massive collection of oak, conifer, and other plant specimens, the new storage system will also be used to protect CCBER's algae collection, one of the most significant collections of algal material from the central California coast.

"It's a really important project," said Jennifer Thorsch, the Katherine Esau Director of CCBER. "This is a wonderful step in the right direction for a small university museum. UC Santa Barbara has continued to value our collections, where many institutions have shipped collections off, and students don't get the hands-on museum opportunities. There are so many interesting questions that can be answered by preserved specimens. They aid our ability to conduct genetic research, examine species diversity trends, and study species responses to global warming using data available in the collection records. Collections like these are very important."

The NSF funding, a Biological Research Collection grant, is designed for improving facilities and the security and accessibility of collections. After two applications in previous years came close but were turned down, "the third try was the charm," Thorsch said. "Thank you, President Obama, for the stimulus money. We received full funding. It's one of those good stimulus stories."

The NSF grant was preceded by a $110,000 gift from Dr. William "Bill" Cheadle, son of the former chancellor, and other members of the Cheadle family. Vernon Cheadle was a botanist, and his impressive collection of light microscope slides of monocotyledons, gathered from around the world, is stored at CCBER, as are about 2,500 of his herbarium sheets, which will be among the specimens placed in the new compact storage facilities. "The Cheadle family has been very generous," Thorsch said. "They have provided additional support for us to work on the curation and processing of the preserved plant materials, microscope slides, and creating a database for all of the metadata."

Dr. Cheadle, who is professor and program director in the Department of Surgery at the University of Louisville, said: "I am very excited about the exceptional peer-reviewed NSF grant that has been awarded to Jennifer Thorsch and Carla D'Antonio (CCBER's faculty director) on behalf of CCBER. This will provide critical funding to properly store and provide access to the herbarium collection. My father collected over 5,000 plants and produced over 60,000 light microscope slides during his long and distinguished career as a botanist. The compact storage system will provide access to interested scientists from all over the world to plant specimens for research, thus perpetuating his great legacy. We plan to continue to support the CCBER and its multiple missions, and again congratulate Jennifer Thorsch and Carla D'Antonio on this special accomplishment."

Over the next couple of months, the cabinets currently used to store specimens in the herbarium will be moved into CCBER's classroom for staging. There, working with undergraduate and graduate students, as well as two consultants, Dieter Wilken from the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Mary Carroll, a former UCSB graduate student, Thorsch and D'Antonio will go through all 100,000 plant specimens. The plants will be checked for damage and they will be itemized. "We'll have tables set up: This specimen needs conservation, this one needs to be annotated, this one need nomenclatural changes," Thorsch said. "We'll get it completely organized. Then our next goal will be to obtain funding to upload the data to Specify, a database specially designed for web access and searchability of museum collections."

Meanwhile, the new compact storage cabinets will be installed. As items are cataloged and databased, they will be moved into the new cabinets, which will be on a track system and will feature tight-sealing doors. Thorsch expects the entire process will take up to two years. "We've done the calculations and we're anticipating that we should have about a 25 percent increase in space, based on compactibility," Thorsch said.

In addition to Cheadle's collection, the new herbarium will include the life's work of two esteemed and nationally renowned experts. The extensive oak collection of Cornelius H. Muller, emeritus professor of botany at UCSB who passed away in 1997, will be preserved, as will the pine collection of Robert Haller, a former UCSB faculty member who will participate in the identification and annotation of his collection.

- - - -

CONTACTS: To contact Jennifer Thorsch, call 805-893-2401, or e-mail thorsch@lifesci.ucsb.edu. For media assistance, contact George Foulsham, 805-893-3071, george.foulsham@ia.ucsb.edu.

Project to draw fuel from algae

"Alternative fuels" is not a term used in many everyday conversations. Occasionally, one will hear scientists or politicians using the phrase because they are concerned about a possible energy crisis. So, what do alternative fuels have to do with Eastern? Thanks to a new project called CRAFT, Eastern is now a major part of unprecedented alternative fuel technology research.

The purpose of the project is to create alternative fuels in order to conserve the non-renewable resources, such as oil and coal that the world is currently using in various industries.

"It is vital that we figure out alternative fuel possibilities early, or else we will be rushing around during a fuel crisis trying to figure it out," said Gary Selby, a senior agricultural education major from Ashland, Ky. Selby has been involved with the CRAFT project since the initial research when the project began.

Eastern officially announced its partnership with General Atomics, an energy-related company based in San Diego, in December 2008. The partnership was formed in order to undertake a new project known as the Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies, or CRAFT. CRAFT is developing processes of converting biomass into a biodiesel fuel that could be used to run most engines.

To put it more simply, Bruce Pratt, the chair of Eastern's Department of Agriculture, said that biomass, or plant-derived material, will be broken down to release sugars (namely glucose). These sugars will be fed to a special type of heterotrophic algae that does not require sunlight to grow. The algae will then be harvested and the oil used to create diesel fuel will be extracted.

"Diesel is what industry runs on," Pratt said. "Trucks on highways, trains and ocean freighters primarily run on diesel."

Pratt said that CRAFT is different from other alternative fuel projects because it will not cause as much controversy.

"This process won't create a food versus fuel issue like the [process of] corn to ethanol production did," he said.

Pratt said General Atomics initially approached Eastern in 2007 about the project. General Atomics met with Eastern President Doug Whitlock and Representative Ben Chandler about the possibility of alternative fuel research at Eastern, and the CRAFT partnership was born.

The project is being funded by a combination of federal, state and university grants, Pratt said. Most of these grants have only been approved recently.

Some of the funding sources include a grant from the Defense Logistics Agency, as well as a grant from the Governor's office of Agricultural Policy. Both of these grants were approved just this month, bringing the total amount of grant money given to CRAFT to over $4.3 million.

The Department of Agriculture is not the only participant from Eastern working on the project. Professors from several departments, including chemistry, biology and economics, have contributed to the preliminary research, Pratt said.

Even a few students have climbed on board. Selby said he heard about CRAFT in one of his agricultural classes and immediately wanted to get involved.

"I am interested in the biofuel industry and the laboratory work that goes into it," Selby said.

Selby worked with a few other students in the spring when the project officially began, but he is now the only student working on the CRAFT team, helping with its research.

"We are gathering test materials to run various lab essays to decide which cellulosic materials would produce enough sugars to feed the heterotrophic algae," Selby said. "We are in the preliminary stages-gathering materials and hypothesizing procedures."

CRAFT has been researching biofuel possibilities in nearby Winchester in Clark County, according to Selby and Pratt.

The CRAFT team has surveyed some of the land in that area to see how much biomass is available. Pratt, along with Don Llewellyn of the Eastern agricultural department, worked on a manuscript that demonstrated to General Atomics that there is enough biomass in this area of Kentucky to support a "pilot plant."

"We want to build a plant with experimental level production where we will create biodiesel and certain other biofuels," Selby said. "The plant will be responsible for growing the algae, feeding the algae, extracting the oil from the algae and then refining the oil into different grades of fuel."

The research the CRAFT team has gathered so far is to determine whether a useful biodiesel can be extracted from the algae, but if a plant is built, then the experiment will be whether the plant could mass-produce the biodiesel fuel.

General Atomics would provide the funds for the creation of the plant, Selby said. He also said that if the pilot plant is successful, then other pilot plants across the U.S. might be built in the future.

Both Pratt and Selby are very excited about the opportunities that this project has brought to Eastern as well as Kentucky. Pratt said the project is "a new frontier."

"[CRAFT] gives Kentucky agriculture an alternative for traditional crops grown in Kentucky," Pratt said.

The project is beneficial to Eastern as a way to gain national recognition, Selby said.

"EKU should be proud that we got the project rather than other colleges," Selby said. "This will put EKU on the map."

For more information or news about CRAFT, visit www.craft.eku.edu.

Algae-Based Biofuel From Fish

Right now, when biofuel is produced using algae, cultures are grown and then processed into fuel. But the process is expensive and difficult. Now a company in Texas, LiveFuels, Inc., hopes that it will be able to change all that. The idea is to create a biofuel based on the oils from the fish that eat the algae.

LiveFuels plans to make use of natural food chains in order to get biofuels. Gas 2.0 reports on the facilities used by the Brownsville company:

The company-who develops renewable algae-based biofuels-has a test facility in Brownsville, TX. At the location they have 45 acres of open saltwater ponds which will be used for optimizing the algal production.... LiveFuels plans to grow a mix of regional species in low-cost, open-water systems. The algae will be "harvested" with filter-feeding fish and other aquatic herbivores.

The idea is that the fish can harvest the algae, grazing on it, and then those fish can in turn be processed for the biofuel base. This is a different approach from current algae-based biofuel processes that may have some merit. After all, something similar is being done in Greenland, where sharks caught in fishing nets are being processed as biofuel.

It will be interesting to see whether this process saves on costs and creates a more cost-efficient biofuel.

Cyclone Power Technologies to Present All-Fuel Engine at National Algae Conference

POMPANO BEACH, Fla., Sep 01, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Cyclone Power Technologies (Pink Sheets:CYPW) will present its award winning, all-fuel external combustion engine technology at the National Algae Association Conference, to be held September 17-18 in Houston, TX.

The Cyclone Engine is a modern steam engine capable of running on virtually any fuel, including today's most promising biofuels made from algae. In tests performed by the company earlier this year, the Cyclone Engine's fuel atomizers and combustion chamber successfully burned several different varieties of fuel derived from algae without engine modification and, equally important, without expensive processing of the fuels.

"Algae is a wonderful fuel source," stated Harry Schoell, CEO of Cyclone. "It has a high BTU content relative to other biofuels, and burns cleanly and efficiently in our engine."

The economic and environmental promise is enormous for this high yielding, carbon neutral fuel, which can be grown almost anywhere without competing with worldwide food supplies. Recently, major corporations such as Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil have made major investments in algae fuel production.

The National Algae Association (NAA) is the leading trade organization for algae researchers, producers and financiers. The NAA's conference, entitled Algae: The New Oil, will feature presentations covering a full range of subjects focusing on the commercialization of algae. It will be held September 17-18 at the Sheraton North Houston.


Cyclone Power Technologies is the developer of the award-winning Cyclone Engine -- an eco-friendly external combustion engine with the power and versatility to run everything from portable electric generators and garden equipment to cars, trucks and locomotives. Invented by company founder and CEO Harry Schoell, the patented Cyclone Engine is a modern day steam engine, ingeniously designed to achieve high thermal efficiencies through a compact heat-regenerative process, and to run on virtually any fuel - including bio-diesels, syngas or solar - while emitting fewer greenhouse gases and irritating pollutants into the air. Currently in its late stages of development, the Cyclone Engine was recognized by Popular Science Magazine as the Invention of the Year for 2008, and was presented with the Society of Automotive Engineers' AEI Tech Award in 2006 and 2008. Additionally, Cyclone was recently named Environmental Business of the Year by the Broward County Environmental Protection Department. For more information, visit www.cyclonepower.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

Certain statements in this news release may contain forward-looking information within the meaning of Rule 175 under the Securities Act of 1933 and Rule 3b-6 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and are subject to the safe harbor created by those rules. All statements, other than statements of fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements regarding potential future plans and objectives of the company, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. The company cautions that these forward-looking statements are further qualified by other factors. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any statements in this release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

SOURCE: Cyclone Power Technologies

Algae, a source of employment for rural women

JAIPUR: For emeritus Prof Pushpa Srivastava, arrival of monsoon is not good news! "We can hardly cultivate spirulina' during this season, and our
income is the lowest in these months," she says. However, a second later, she adds, "Oh, don't get me wrong, our state is badly in need of monsoon, but spirulina cultivation is best possible in summers."

In its 10th year, the Manjul Spirulina Committee, under her guidance has been treating malnourished and anaemic women in the Burdhal village (Bassi) and also involving them in self-employment generation projects.

"It is interesting to look at how illiterate women are involved in a scientific project," Srivastava says. She has worked on a similar project for earthquake victims in the Saurashtra district in Gujarat.

The women, who work for three hours a day, belong to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe category, and are paid Rs 1,500 per month during summers. "In rainy season, since the cultivation is less, I cut down on the number of workers as well as their salaries, but still we are barely able to recover the costs. There have been instances when I had to pay them from my own pocket," she says.

"We first gave 1 gm spirulina every day for three months to the women and children of the village. Some of them had haemoglobin levels at 4, where survival is impossible, but after they consumed regular dose of spirulina, their levels shot up to 11," Srivastava says with a twinkle in her eye.

Spirulina, an alga, is the richest source of protein available in the world. It also contains high levels of iron, and therefore, can cure malnourishment and anaemia in children as well as women, especially expectant mothers.

These women were later employed in the cultivation of spirulina in the village, and make spirulina tablets, biscuits, snacks and even papad' from it. "It is very difficult for rural women to move out of their homes and seek work. Therefore, when given a choice, I chose to work with them," she says. She recounts an incident which opened her eyes to the plight of these women.

"One day some women came to me and complained that one the girl is refusing to learn the name of the chemicals, which are used for the cultivation. When I asked her, she removed her dupatta' and showed me a deep wound on her head, told me Madam, I unable to recall my own name, how can I remember the chemicals' name," Srivastava says.

The project was initially funded by department of biotechnology, Delhi, but today it is an autonomous body run by Srivastava and the village women of Burthal. From a small cultivation pond, the cultivation work has now spread across an area of 230 sq mts.

The women first cultivate the algae in a pond with chemicals, which after 3-4 days is filtered, washed, dried into flakes and finally ground into powder form, which is then used to make tablets or other products. "I had purchased a drier to help these women dry the flakes faster, but as the village does not have electricity, it was of no use," Srivastava says.

Going back to the formative years of the project, Srivastava says, finding suitable land for the project was the most difficult part. "I had first approached the JDA, but nothing worked out, later somebody suggested that I should try and work in a village and study the feasibility of the project," she says.

However, convincing the village sarpanch was not an easy task either. "People were suspicious; they thought I was interested in seizing their land. It took me a lot of time, before I could convince them to allow me to work on their land and employ the village women. Many men raised their eyebrows, but the sarpanch was progressive so he finally yielded to it," a smiling Srivastava says.

Despite the project being a success, financial stability remains a major challenge for Srivastava and the women working under her. "We don't have regular buyers, and without a continuous flow of money, we cannot improve the infrastructure and expand the project, a few research students sometimes place bulk orders, but they cannot sustain us for a long time," she says.

"The biggest question that concerns me today is after me who will take over this work. I often think of closing down the project, but every time I look at the village women, I feel I cannot leave them in the middle of a sea," she concludes.

Biofuel Pretenders

Reality Begins to Sink In

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal this past week:

U.S. Biofuel Boom Running on Empty

A few pertinent excerpts:

The biofuels revolution that promised to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil is fizzling out.

Two-thirds of U.S. biodiesel production capacity now sits unused, reports the National Biodiesel Board.

Producers of next-generation biofuels -- those using nonfood renewable materials such as grasses, cornstalks and sugarcane stalks -- are finding it tough to attract investment and ramp up production to an industrial scale.

This all boils down to something I have said on many occasions: You can't mandate technology. Just because you mandate that 36 billion gallons of biofuel are to be produced by 2022 doesn't mean that it has a remote chance of happening. This is not a hard concept to understand, but it seems to have eluded our government for many years. The government would probably understand that they couldn't create colonies on the moon in 10 years via mandate. They know they can't cure cancer via mandate. But in the area of biofuels, they seem to feel like they can just conjure up vast amounts of hydrogen, cellulosic ethanol, or algal biodiesel.

Domestically produced biofuels were supposed to be an answer to reducing America's reliance on foreign oil. In 2007, Congress set targets for the U.S. to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuels a year into the U.S. fuel supply in 2022, from 11.1 billion gallons in 2009.

Cellulosic ethanol, derived from the inedible portions of plants, and other advanced fuels were expected to surpass corn ethanol to fill close to half of all biofuel mandates in that time.

But the industry is already falling behind the targets. The mandate to blend next-generation fuels, which kicks in next year, is unlikely to be met because of a lack of enough viable production.

Most people don't realize that the Germans were the first to produce ethanol from cellulose. That happened in 1898. For our political leaders and many industry boosters, cellulosic ethanol is a recent discovery, and thus they expect big leaps in the technology in the next few years. These expectations completely ignore the fact that researchers have been hard at work on making cellulosic ethanol a reality for decades - with little success.

In President Bush's 2006 State of the Union address, he broadly expanded the mandate for ethanol. He voiced his strong support for cellulosic ethanol, and included billions of gallons in the Renewable Fuel Standard - as well as billions of dollars of financial support.

How quickly our politicians seem to have forgotten the 2003 State of the Union, in which Bush set forth his vision of the hydrogen economy:

"A simple chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen generates energy, which can be used to power a car producing only water, not exhaust fumes. With a new national commitment, our scientists and engineers will overcome obstacles to taking these cars from laboratory to showroom so that the first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen and pollution-free."

We spent some two billion dollars toward that goal. Once again, this ignored many technical and economic realities, and so in May 2009 the headlines read:

Hydrogen Car Goes Down Like the Hindenburg: DoE Kills the Program

The dream of hydrogen fuel cell cars has just been put back in the garage. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced yesterday that his department is cutting all funding for hydrogen car research, saying that it won’t be a feasible technology anytime soon. “We asked ourselves, ‘Is it likely in the next 10 or 15, 20 years that we will covert to a hydrogen car economy?’ The answer, we felt, was ‘no,’” Chu said.

My prediction is that in the not too distant future we will start to see headlines like this for cellulosic ethanol. The troublesome barriers to commercialization are quite fundamental, and aren't likely to be resolved by government mandate. If enough money is thrown at it, cellulosic ethanol will of course be produced. But it can never be a scalable, economic reality.


Broadly speaking, in the world of next generation biofuels there are contenders, pretenders, and niches. Over the past decade, we have thrown a lot of money at pretenders and have little to show for it. There are many reasons for this, but fundamentally I believe it boils down to the fact that our political leaders can't sort the wheat from the chaff. If a proponent extols the benefits of hydrogen, cellulose, or algae - the politicians just don't know enough to ask the right critical questions. They listen - often to the very people who will benefit from more funding - and then they allocate money. Billions of dollars and little progress later, they or their successors may begin to realize that they have been misled and they start to dial the funding back.

Here is how I define a next generation Biofuel Pretender: A company or group that makes grandiose promises about the ability of a technology to displace large amounts of fossil fuel, despite facing significant (and often unrecognized) barriers to commercialization.

Here are some examples:


The poster child for the pretenders. Proponents ignored practical realities in many different areas, including fuel cell vehicles that cost a million dollars, the fact that most hydrogen is produced from natural gas, the fact that the energy density of hydrogen is very low, and the fact that there are multiple issues with hydrogen storage and transport. Technical breakthroughs were being counted on to solve these challenges. After all, we put a man on the moon. Surely we could solve these challenges.

The real problem is that the potential for success falls rapidly as the number of needed breakthroughs pile up. Imagine for instance that the following - cost of production, cost effective storage, and cost effective transport - each have a 25% chance of achieving commercial viability in the next 20 years. The total chance for success of all three in that case falls to 1.5% - so this is overall probability of success. Thus, the vast majority of technologies that require multiple technical breakthroughs will fail to materialize commercially except perhaps over a much longer period of time.

Cellulosic Ethanol

As was the case with hydrogen, this one requires multiple technical breakthroughs before commercial (unsubsidized) viability can be achieved. I won't go through them all now, as I have covered them before. The fundamental reason that cellulosic ethanol won't scale up to displace large amounts of gasoline is that the energy efficiency of the process is so low. You have the sugars that make up cellulose locked up tightly in the biomass - which has a low energy density to start with. So you add energy to unlock the sugar and turn it into ethanol, and then you end up with ethanol in water. More energy inputs are required to get the ethanol out. Even if the energy can be supplied by the by-products of the process like lignin, the net BTUs of liquid fuel that you end up with are going to be low relative to what you started with.

For example, assume you start off with 10 BTUs of biomass. You expend energy to get it to the factory, to process it, and then to get the water out. You burn part of the biomass to fuel the process, and input some fossil fuel. You might net something like 3 BTUs of liquid fuel from the 10 BTUs of biomass you started with.

Don't confuse this with fossil fuel energy balance, though. If the external energy inputs in this example only amounted to 1 BTU of fossil fuel, one could claim a fossil fuel energy balance of 3/1. But that doesn't change the fact the final liquid fuel input is a small fraction of the starting BTUs in the biomass.

This is analogous to the situation with oil shale, which is why I have compared the two. There may in fact be a trillion or more barrels of oil shale locked up in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. But if the extraction of those barrels required a trillion barrels worth of energy inputs and lots of water - then that oil shale might as well be on the moon. That means that a trillion barrels isn't really a trillion barrels in the case of oil shale, and a billion tons of biomass is much smaller than it seems when talking about cellulosic ethanol.

So despite the claims from the EPA that the "Renewable Fuel Standard program will increase the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into gasoline from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022" - that is not going to happen unless the government is willing to throw massive amounts of money at an inefficient process.

Algal Biofuel

Like many, I was initially enchanted by the possibility of weaning the world away from fossil fuels by using fuel made from algae. Proponents wrote articles suggesting that we could do just that, provided the necessary investments are made.

Sadly, the story is much more complex than that. The U.S. DOE funded a study for many years into the potential of algae to produce fuel. (For an overview of where things stand from John Benemann, one of the men who co-authored the close-out report of that study, see Algal Biodiesel: Fact or Fiction?) The problem is again one of needing to surmount multiple technical hurdles, and the close-out report states that reality. Again, I won't go into those details, as that has been covered before.

While it is a fact that you can produce fuel from algae, the challenges are such that John has written that you can't even buy algal biofuel for $100/gallon. He said that if you want to separate the reality from the hype, just try to secure a contract with someone to supply you with algal fuel.

First Generation Biodiesel

This story is primarily about 2nd generation fuels, and as such I won't get into corn ethanol issues. But I will say a bit about biodiesel. As indicated in the Wall Street Journal story, conventional biodiesel producers are in trouble. Briefly, a conventional biodiesel producer is someone who takes vegetable oils or animal fats and uses methanol (almost all of which is fossil-fuel derived) and converts that into an oxygenated compound (called a mono-alkyl ester). This compound has been defined as 'biodiesel', and can be used - subject to certain limitations - in a diesel engine.

Again, the problems are fundamental. It takes a lot of effort (energy, cost) to produce most of the oils that are used as raw materials, and then you have to react with methanol - which usually contains a lot of embodied fossil fuel energy. Up til now, the first generation biodiesel producers have benefited from a high level of protectionism (to the extent of punishing the more efficient 2nd generation producers). But even with the protectionism and the subsidies, producers are still struggling to survive.


There are a number of miscellaneous pretenders that we probably don't need to discuss in depth, such as various free energy schemes or water as a fuel. If you think you might be dealing with a pretender, one caution flag is when their promoters are from backgrounds that have nothing to do with energy. For instance, the person who founded the dot.com that ultimately morphs into an energy company is almost certainly a pretender who is chasing investment funds.


To summarize, the biofuel pretenders fall into several broad categories. The big ones are:

  • Hydrogen
  • Most would-be cellulosic ethanol producers
  • Most would-be algal biofuel producers
  • Most first generation biodiesel producers
This isn't to say that none of these will work in any circumstances. I will get into that when I talk about niches. But I will say that I am confident that none of these are scalable solutions to our fossil fuel dependence. The problem is that political leaders have been, or are still convinced that there is great potential for some of these and we waste billions of dollars chasing fantasies. This is a great distraction, causing a loss of precious time and public goodwill as taxpayer money is squandered chasing schemes that ultimately will not pan out.

EmergingGreenCompanies.com Announces Exclusive Footage of the Algae Harvest Done by Biocentric Energy Holdings Inc.

During the Algae Harvest Mr. Fisher explains the process from start to finish, and provides some other company updates related to the system.

Representatives from EmergingGreenCompanies.com were shocked to see how much algae was being pumped out of the Photo Bioreactor.

The Algae Harvest Video can be viewed by clicking on the following link to the Emerging Green Companies Media page.


EmergingGreenCompanies.com looks forward to releasing more videos as the company continues to grow.

Other Emerging Green Company News

Emerging Green Companies has recently noticed a product called the Plasma Arc Flow Sewage Recycler done by the MagneGas Corporation. We encourage anybody that wants to be part of the green movement to check out their website. www.magnegas.com

About BioCentric Energy Holdings, Inc.

BioCentric Energy Holdings, Inc. is dedicated to the development of new technologies as well as acquiring and fostering companies with innovative technologies designed to provide unique and effective green energy and alternative fuel solutions for the 21st century. Along with the cultivation of important relationships and partnerships with synergistic entities, BioCentric Energy has devoted substantial time and effort in research and development in order to bring a range of innovative green fuel and nutritional alternatives to the marketplace.

www.biocentricenergy.com & www.biocentricenergyalgae.com

About EmergingGreenCompanies.com (www.emerginggreencompanies.com)

EmergingGreenCompanies.com is a website that puts its main focus on showcasing companies that are "Going Green," and that are future leaders in the "Green Movement." Please see the website for additional information and full disclaimer. www.emerginggreencompanies.com/disclaimer.html

Safe Harbor Statement: This release includes forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as BEHL or its management "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "foresees," "forecasts," "estimates" or other words or phrases of similar import. Similarly, statements herein that describe the Company's business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals also are forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements.


E-mail: Questions@EmergingGreenCompanies.com

Diversified Energy advances renewable technologies

Diversified Energy Corp. has moved forward on three of its renewable energy technologies through funding from various U.S. agencies.

The company’s OmniGas program, designed to gasify hydrocarbon feedstocks for electricity manufacturing, was approved for a second year of funding through the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Testing Laboratory. Diversified Energy officials said the project is on track for a 1-ton prototype by the middle of next year.

A technology the company has licensed from North Carolina State University recently received a four-year, multi-million dollar award to study algae to biofuels conversions. The technology, called Centia, can convert any fat or lipid into transportation fuel.

Diversified also received the go-ahead from the DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy for projects related to the Centia and OmniGas technologies.

The Gilbert-based company founded by Dave Thompson has specialized in advanced research on renewable energy technologies.

Scientists using algae to generate energy

Washington, Oct 11 - ANI: Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories are cultivating green algae that might help produce biofuel.

From the beginning of 1950s, the Department of Energy recognized algae as a potential feedstock for energy and biofuels.

People have been growing algae for centuries for food supplements for use by man and animals, said lead researcher Cecelia Williams.

It now has the potential to supply our energy needs too, Williams added.

The researchers have recently grown green algae in a 12-by-30-foot greenhouse using a simulated dairy effluent, the nutrient-rich liquid remaining after bacterial digestion of dairy manure.

The solids from the digestion of dairy manure can potentially be used to develop fertilizer and feed and the liquid serves as a nutrient source for algae.

The algae are typically cultured for several days, followed by harvesting and dewatering, after which the algal oil is extracted.

The algae produce lipids, the most useful being neutral oil made up largely of triacyglycerides (TAG) that can be converted to biofuels.

Williams said that growing algae for biofuels eliminates many problems associated with traditional biofuels.

The current generation of biofuels [starch- and sugar-based ethanol and oil crop-based biodiesel] rely on the use of commodity crops and therefore compete for use of food crops, primarily corn, she said.

Also, they are very farm-intensive and use a lot of good farming land, fuel and fertilizer inputs and fresh water, she added. - ANI

Algae to be Focus of BIO’s Pacific Rim Summit

Leading researchers and companies looking to turn algae into biofuels will meet in Hawaii next month to talk about progress and challenges with the green-slime-into-green-fuel process.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization’s (BIO) 2009 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy will be held Nov. 8-11, 2009 in Honolulu:

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial and Environmental Section, said, “Algae is seen as a promising source of raw material for biofuels, but it also could become a workhorse for producing ethanol, chemical, protein and food ingredients. As companies work to achieve the full potential of algae for fuels and chemicals, they’ll face the same challenges and opportunities as other biotechnology companies. The Pacific Rim Summit provides an opportunity for startup companies to present the state of their research and development, share their experiences and network with one another and with other biotechnology companies.”

The summit is expected to bring together government officials, private companies and members of academia, including presentation from Valerie Reed with the US Department of Energy, Jonathan Wolfson of Solazyme, Bertrand Vick from Aurora Biofuels, David Bayless of Ohio University, and Jeff Muhs, Utah State University.

October 10, 2009

U.S. Defense Dept Taps Solazyme for Algae-Derived Jet Fuel

The U.S. Navy has ordered up 1,500 gallons of 100% algae-derived jet fuel from California’s Solazyme, Inc.

The DoD last week tapped the California company to produce the fuel for testing and certification. The contract calls for delivery next year.

This is the second Navy contract for Solazyme, a leader in algal synthetic biology, which earlier this month was awarded a separate contract to provide R&D and delivery of over 20,000 gallons of renewable, algae-derived F-76 Naval distillate fuel for use in Navy ships.

Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson told Reuters the ship fuel contract was worth $8.5 million, while the jet fuel contract was worth about $200,000. Wolfson said the contracts were “a step on the road to broad-scale adoption.”

The Navy will test the biofuel in an F/A-18 Super Hornet at Patuxent River, Maryland by next spring or summer, according to an August article on the Navy’s official web site.

The article quotes Rick Kamin, Navy fuels lead, as saying that before “biofueling” the plane, the team will first conduct laboratory and rig tests at Patuxent River, followed by static engine tests with the Super Hornet’s F414 engine on a test stand at the Lynn, Massachusetts facility of manufacturer General Electric. Kamin said the tests would probably take place in December or January.

In fulfilling the jet fuel contract, Solazyme will use its large-scale algal renewable oil production process in conjunction with renewable jet fuel processing technology from Honeywell’s UOP.

Established in San Francisco in 2003, Solazyme’s backers include Braemar Energy Ventures, Harris & Harris Group, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Roda Group and Vantage Point Venture Partners.

Algae-fueled car completes cross-country tour, gears up for another

The Algaeus, a vehicle that runs on algae-based fuel, recently finished a cross-country trip to promote the film “FUEL,” and now will be featured on a college educational tour around the nation.

The car, based on a 2008 Toyota Prius with an added battery pack, a plug and an advanced energy management system, finished its 10-day tour from San Francisco to New York City Sept. 18. The unmodified engine got an average 147 miles per gallon (mpg) city in plug-in electric hybrid mode (PHEV) and 52 mpg highway in hybrid mode, according to Sapphire Energy, the company that made the fuel blend.

The fuel is a blend of 5 percent algae and 95 percent fossil fuel, according to Tim Zenk, vice president of corporate affairs for Sapphire, and is a drop-in replacement for existing transportation fuels, from refining, to distribution and the pump. The company grows its algae in pond systems with sunlight, carbon dioxide, nutrients and nonpotable or saltwater in the desert. Sapphire uses its proprietary process to harvest the algae and extract the green crude from the biomass. The crude is then refined into gas, diesel and jet fuel, Zenk said.

The tour was sponsored by the Veggie Van Organization and included a press conference on Capitol Hill. The college tour will also include the Veggie Van Organization, an interactive classroom retrofit “Green Energy Bus” and the “FUEL” team. “FUEL” was intended to inspire green energy solutions and was directed by Josh Tickell, founder/co-director of the Veggie Van Organization.

Sapphire Energy is in the research and development phase, but plans to have a demonstration plant built within three years and be commercially operational by 2018, according to Zenk. The company’s goal is to produce 1 billion gallons per year by 2025, he added.

“The Algaeus is a fantastic test platform that demonstrates not only Sapphire Energy’s abilities to take algae and produce hydrocarbon replacements, but also plug-in hybrid technology,” Zenk said. “If we are going to get our economy, our environment and our planet on the road to sustainability, we need to explore and employ all green energy technologies.”

Through the success of the Algaeus, Sapphire Energy hopes to further educate about clean solutions like algae-based green crude and address the energy security and climate crisis, according to Zenk. “The Algaeus tour gets us one step closer to moving from ponds to the pump with a renewable fuel that doesn’t require changes to our vehicles, refineries or distribution systems,” he said.

W2 Energy to complete construction of phase one Algae plant

TORONTO, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - W2 Energy (Pinksheets: WTWO) is pleased to announce it has begun construction on the first phase of its Sunfilter Algae Reactor plant, for its own Algae to Diesel plant announced on Aug 13, 2009

The first phase will be the completion of 20 Sunfilter units. This phase of the plant has an expected completion date of mid October. The Company will immediately begin construction of the second phase which will be the addition of another 30 Sunfilter units.

The Company anticipates that the plant, once all phases are operational will produce up to 500 gallons of fuel per day. Several companies are advertising that they are attempting to develop this technology to convert Algae to Diesel. W2 Energy has already developed the technology and is demonstrating to the industry that it works by establishing its own unit for demonstration purposes and cash flow.

Once the Sunfilter plant is fully commissioned the company will post pictures on its website as well as a real-time internet camera so shareholders can see the process operate in real-time.

Remember that with a W2 Energy waste to energy plant garbage becomes a Renewable Resource.

W2 Energy trades in the United States on the OTC under the symbol "WTWO". For further information, please contact Mike McLaren at (519) 341 3185 or www.w2energy.com.

NOTE: Certain statements in this press release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Act of 1995. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause results to differ materially. Such risks, uncertainties and other factors include but are not limited to new economic conditions, risk in product development, market acceptance of new products and continuing product demand, level of competition and other factors described in Company reports and filings with regulatory bodies.

Algae initiative aims to produce fuel while helping the environment

The College of William and Mary and its Virginia Institute of Marine Science have formed a collaborative research initiative to investigate a promising new technology to produce biofuel from the algae growing naturally in rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

The enterprise, called ChAP—the Chesapeake Algae Project—is an integrated research approach to algae-based energy production and environmental remediation. It includes a number of corporate partners, notably StatoilHydro, a Norwegian energy company.

StatoilHydro has seeded the enterprise with an initial $3 million investment. Other key partners are the Williamsburg energy advisory firm Blackrock Energy, the University of Maryland, the Smithsonian Institution, the University of Arkansas and HydroMentia, a Florida company that works with water-treatment technologies.

“This is the kind of collaboration at which William & Mary excels,” William & Mary President Taylor Reveley said. “It is a powerful extension of our own drive toward a more sustainable campus community.”

StatoilHydro representatives met with William & Mary officials and other partners in Williamsburg recently to sign a formal agreement to proceed. Other partners, private and public, are expected to join the initiative as work progresses.

“By taking the first step in close cooperation with some of the most skilled researchers the U.S. has to offer in this field, we feel confident that we have the best starting point possible for reaching a successful result and a good basis for attracting new private and public partners in the future,” says Lars Nordli, head of StatoilHydro’s biofuel division.

The William & Mary/VIMS group is investigating a process that not only is environmentally sustainable, but if used on a large scale, can help to reverse a number of environmental problems such as excess nutrient enrichment that produces “dead zones” in the Chesapeake Bay and other waters.

However, Dennis Manos, William & Mary’s vice provost for research and graduate and professional studies, said the main environmental benefits of ChAP will derive from the central goal of the project: to find a way to produce algal biofuel on an industrial scale.

“We would like to help companies put a significant dent in the world’s thousand-barrel-per-second appetite for oil,” Manos said.

Lead researchers at VIMS involved in ChAP include J. Emmett Duffy, the Loretta and Lewis Glucksman Professor of Marine Science, and Professor of Marine Science Elizabeth Canuel. At the Williamsburg campus of William & Mary, Gene Tracy, Chancellor Professor of Physics and Applied Science; Bill Cooke, professor of physics; and Robert Hinkle, professor of chemistry, are lead members of the team, which includes other faculty members.

Manos explained that the project involves the entire process of producing biofuels, from algal growth to harvesting, extracting the oil and other projects from the algae, processing the oil and producing the final biofuel product.

The project was initiated by exploring, among others, technology originally developed by Walter Adey of the Smithsonian Institution as an efficient, large-scale aquarium filter. Adey has been meeting with a group of researchers at William & Mary and VIMS for the past year, working out details of how to adapt the concept to industrial-scale algae cultivation. A test site has been operating at VIMS, using brackish York River water, and a second test station is planned for Lake Matoaka on the William & Mary campus.

Algae are good candidates for use as biofuel because of their rapid growth rates, ability to take-up nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and some of these aquatic plants have as much as 50 percent oil content, depending on environmental factors. ChAP differs from other algal biofuel initiatives in two ways.

“In the first place, we’re going to work with many species of algae, as opposed to concentrating on farming a monoculture, or attempting to contain genetically modified algae in open-water environments,” Manos said. Most current algae studies focus on one high-yield species or strain of algae, but Manos explained that using a polyculture approach makes the algae less susceptible to disease and generally more robust. One of the goals of ChAP will be to develop processes to maximize the effective energy yield from a harvest that varies in oil content.

The other difference is that the process is designed to work without competing with either fresh-water supplies or agricultural resources. “The process will work in brackish water, salt water, even waste water,” Manos said. “That’s one of the best parts of the whole idea, and ultimately, while producing affordable transportation fuel, using wild algae can even help to remediate conditions that otherwise would lead to harmful algal blooms.”

OriginOil Announces New Algae Growth System for Use in Wastewater Facilities

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OriginOil, Inc. (OOIL), the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum, today announced an innovative production system using a type of algae that attaches itself to growth surfaces. The new system helps pursue clean water goals while generating algae for fuel and other valuable products in wastewater treatment plants.

“Previous attempts at using surface-mounted algae were not very scalable,” said OriginOil CEO Riggs Eckelberry. “OriginOil’s Attached Growth System delivers scalability and throughput in an industrial process that delivers light more efficiently to grow algae for fuel and helps process wastewater at the same time.”

The company recently filed for patent protection of the new Attached Growth System, its ninth patent application, entitled “Methods and Apparatus for Growing Algae on a Solid Surface.” OriginOil will integrate the process into the demonstration algae system now being built at its headquarters.

Growing algae in water is a challenge because as it grows, the algae thickens and stops light. One solution is OriginOil’s Helix Bioreactor™ which puts the lights inside the tank. Another method is to rotate the algae periodically out of the water so it can be exposed to the light. OriginOil’s Attached Growth System uses types of algae that will attach to surfaces rotating in and out of the water, exposing the algae to sunlight or artificial light. At harvest time, the algae is scraped off as a sludge, greatly decreasing the energy cost of dewatering during oil extraction.

In wastewater treatment plants, OriginOil’s Attached Growth System can be configured to encourage bacterial growth in addition to the algae. Combining algal and bacterial growth makes for better nutrient extraction than either one of them alone, contributing to clean water goals while making fuel and absorbing CO2.

OriginOil Chief Scientist and clean water veteran Dr. Vikram Pattarkine said: “We demonstrated in our cost analysis, at the National Algae Association in Houston earlier this month, that algae can be far more profitable when located in wastewater treatment environments. This technology will multiply the benefit.”

CEO Eckelberry added: “We are proud to present this technology while the second Governors' Global Climate Summit is in progress here in Los Angeles. In addition to being a renewable energy pioneer, California is in the grips of a long-term drought and can clearly use any technology that allies clean water with sustainable fuel production.”

For more information on OriginOil technology, please visit www.originoil.com.

About OriginOil, Inc.

OriginOil, Inc. is developing a breakthrough technology that will transform algae, the most promising source of renewable oil, into a true competitor to petroleum. Much of the world's oil and gas is made up of ancient algae deposits. Today, our technology will produce "new oil" from algae, through a cost-effective, high-speed manufacturing process. This endless supply of new oil can be used for many products, such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, plastics and solvents, without the global warming effects of petroleum. Other oil-producing feedstock, such as corn and sugarcane, often destroy vital farmlands and rainforests, disrupt global food supplies and create new environmental problems. Our unique technology, based on algae, is targeted at fundamentally changing our source of oil without disrupting the environment or food supplies. To learn more about OriginOil™, please visit our website at www.originoil.com.

Safe Harbor Statement:

Matters discussed in this press release contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "may," "intend," "expect" and similar expressions identify such forward-looking statements. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those contemplated, expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained herein, and while expected, there is no guarantee that we will attain the aforementioned anticipated developmental milestones. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations of the Company and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. These include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties associated with: the impact of economic, competitive and other factors affecting the Company and its operations, markets, product, and distributor performance, the impact on the national and local economies resulting from terrorist actions, and U.S. actions subsequently; and other factors detailed in reports filed by the Company.

Update on Algae Research Reported

At the "Algae-to-Energy in the South" regional summit held in St. Louis, academic and industry experts from ten states reported on the wide range of algae based research underway around the country. Projects range from improving algae's ability to capture solar energy, to identifying best practices for removing oil from algae. Research touches on every aspect of algae and recognizes the vast opportunities for growth, improvement and eventually commercialization. The Center for Evergreen Energy, the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association and the Southern Growth Polices Board hosted the event.

One of the reports focused on the development of a non-destructive oil extraction process, sometimes referred to as "milking the algae," that is capable of continuously removing oil from living algal cultures. The program is considering what strains perform best and how the process may benefit production efficiency by removal of contaminants.

Dr. Richard Sayre, Director of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Institute for Renewable Fuels, explained that oil based fuels, such as biodiesel, have many benefits. They boast twice the energy density of alcohol; oil producing plants have reduced impact on the environment; and algae based biodiesel can be produced on land not suitable for other uses and result in higher oil per acre than currently available.

Visiting instructor's class utilizes algae as biofuel

Architecture students often design with concrete, steel and wood in mind. Now they've added algae to their materials list.

The photosynthetic organisms seem more fitting as congealed-like soup atop static waters than woven into the built environment. Yet Michael Ezban, visiting instructor in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, has introduced a course called "Algae Armatures," which invites students to utilize algae as a design element.

While algae undoubtedly provide a unique aesthetic, their purpose isn't strictly visual. Algae are forerunners in the development of biofuels, which is energy retrieved from renewable biological materials. Algae are essentially squeezed for their oils, which are then refined into a usable form to power, among other things, cars.

"The idea with (this class)," Ezban said, "is how do you couple biofuel production with existing infrastructure and existing city fabrics?"

Several disciplines comprise "Algae Armatures." Students from architecture, landscape architecture and industrial design occupy the eight-person class. Mark Kerscher, a senior industrial design major, said he signed up to diversify his portfolio as much as possible with graduation approaching.

"I select classes based on what would help me get a job," Kerscher said, "and right now sustainability is pretty big."

Ezban's interest in algae has subtle origins in his own student portfolio.

In academia, Ezban said he explored a creative intersection between agriculture and architecture. While a graduate student at the University of Michigan, his thesis project focused on "fidal remediation," which is a way to clean a post-industrial site; plants can be used to extract toxins from contaminated soil. Ezban sought how the technique behind such a cultivation practice could then inform design.

"Algae is a crop," Ezban explained, "and to me, it's just farming in a kind of different form."

The algae farmer might have the most lax duties of them all. Unlike other biofuel crops such as soybeans and corn, algae are hydroponic, meaning they don't require soil. The necessary water for algae need not be potable either because recycled "gray water" from devices like showers and washing machines can support their early growth.

Since algae are liberated from the restraints of arable land, they become versatile as architectural components that can be grafted into current contexts. The two design projects in "Algae Armatures" touch on the possibilities.

For the first assignment, Ezban placed students into pairs and presented the duos different sites: an urban park, a building facade, a highway and a parking lot.

"What they were asked to do," Ezban said, "was spend time brainstorming about the spatial ramifications of biofuel production in those areas."

The parking lot team, for example, conceptualized an algae canopy that would float above the pavement. As a result, the algae would reduce the heat produced by the blacktop and collect rainwater, preventing excess sewer drainage. Further, algae readily absorb great amounts of carbon dioxide and also devour a portion of vehicle emissions.

"By layering the idea of what a parking lot can be," Ezban said, "we're turning it from this neutral - or even, I would say, detrimental - urban situation, into an energy-producing zone."

The other student teams suggested frameworks like scaffolding and screens to infuse algae into their sites.

The final, longer project is now underway. The prompt asks students to create an algae armature, or a framework that suspends or supports the algae, that ties into the Virginia Tech Power Plant. They'll spend time analyzing the facility from its physical energy processes to the surrounding pedestrian traffic. The design product intends to curb the power plant's carbon dioxide waste stream while shaping the visual experience of passersby.

And it's not implausible that "Algae Armatures" could yield physical tests of its designs.

"We have a research facility that can easily demonstrate this," said Jack Davis, dean of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

Davis said the faculty looks forward to observing the course's output. A positive reception could perhaps attract grant money to help manifest student ideas.

Despite the promise of algae, Ezban stressed that there are drawbacks. Notably, the carbon dioxide algae trap still resides in their oil extracts. When it's burned, the gas will ultimately make its way into the atmosphere. Ezban said the goal of using algae is to make waste productive for as long as possible.

"I don't want to hold algae production up as like this silver bullet to all of our energy problems," Ezban said.

The solution is complex, he said, and will require the consensus of many fields of study. The pond only supplies potential.

VIMS receives $3 million to turn York river algae into biodiesel

Because it ruins beach time, kills fish, and hides errant golf balls, algae is rarely a fun topic.

Not so at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, where researchers are smiling at the idea of turning the seaweed into energy that will run automobiles.

VIMS is the recipient of $3 million — seed money from StatoilHydro, a Norwegian energy company — to convert algae from the York River into biodiesel fuel. The plan is to cut the amount of harmful nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, entering the Chesapeake Bay and create an alternative source of energy.

"What we really want to do is turn pollution into fuel," said J. Emmett Duffy, a VIMS professor leading the program.

VIMS will pump water from the river near its Gloucester Point campus onto a large conveyor belt. A plastic screen on the belt will trap the nutrients while the water is recycled back into the river.

The nutrients, which sit on the belt for at least a week, turn into algae before researchers harvest and store it. From there, researchers take the algae into a lab where oils are extracted and converted into biodiesel.

Often an afterthought to other forms of biofuel production, most notably corn and soybeans, harnessing algae as an energy source is gaining traction.For example, oil giant Exxon Mobil announced earlier this summer it would spend $600 million to research and develop algae-based biofuels. Exxon followed Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who invested in a San Diego-based biofuels company the year before.

The industry is also starting to bud in Virginia. Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University are also producing algae for biodiesel.

Patrick Hatcher, a scientist who leads the ODU effort, said the idea of turning algae into fuel surfaced in the 1980s. But demand for alternative fuels waned — as did funding — a decade later as oil prices dropped, he said. As a result, infrastructure, such as biodiesel stations, isn't in place.

That could be changing.

In addition to private investors like Gates and Exxon, the U.S. Department of Energy has pledged at least $50 million toward developing algae biofuels. Unlike corn or soybeans, algae harvesting doesn't take away farm land, Duffy said. It's also 10 to 100 times more productive than corn or soybeans, he said.

Once the research is done and networks in place, Hatcher envisions commercial algae farmers across the state. Before that happens, though, "you have to have someone with money," he said.

Colorado biodiesel company sees energy potential in seaweed

DENVER - To most people it is an ugly weed growing in their favorite pond or lake, but a local biodiesel company, which was recently selected as one of the Colorado Companies to Watch, believes algae may be the next energy powerhouse.

Blue Sun Energy is working on a project, funded by a federal grant, to find a way to turn the seaweed into a high quality jet biofuel.

"It's probably still several years away before we're going to get to that point," explained Steve Bond, Blue Sun Energy's marketing manager.

The idea of making biodiesel out of algae is not revolutionary, but finding the production process that makes it affordable can make a big difference.

"Algae costs $20 a gallon to produce right now, which is not feasible for regular use. Our goal is to get it under $2 a gallon. We think that's feasible to do," Bond said.

Biodiesel can actually be made from a variety of products from vegetable oil to animal fat. Currently, Blue Sun Energy uses high quality virgin oil from soybean and canola. The company says algae and another option, camolina oil, are both attractive options because they require little water, can be grown during the winter season and are not food crops.

Still, even without the advances expected with algae and seaweed, the company says their biodiesels are already greener and more versatile than other biodiesels on the market.

"We produce a premium fuel that takes care of a lot of the shortcomings of generic bio diesel," Bond said.

The company says its product reduces emissions of pollutants including global warming gases like nitrogen oxide. According to the company, many biodiesels products actually increase nitrogen oxide emissions.

Blue Sun Energy also claims its additive helps boost fuel economy by 7 percent, reduce wear in fleet vehicles and even improve performance in cold-weather conditions.

"Our DTX additive will take you down to -20 degrees," Bond said.

The fuel can be used in any diesel car or truck without making any changes.

"You can pull right up to a retail pump and start using it," Bond said.

That is exactly what the city and county of Denver's trucks do everyday. In 2004, the city hired Blue Sun Energy to provide biodiesel for its fleet of diesel vehicles.

"It's a very easy fuel to implement. You don't have to retrofit your equipment or retrofit your facilities. You just put it in your tank," explained Nancy Kuhn, Denver's fleet administrator.

She says the city decided to switch to biodiesel as part of its Greenprint initiative, an effort implemented by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to improve the environment but cutting down on the city's greenhouse gas emissions.

"It's a cleaner burning fuel so we're not putting as many harmful things into the air. The other benefit is it reduces the city's dependence on foreign oil," Kuhn said.

Blue Sun Energy was one of the 50 businesses chosen for the 2009 Colorado Companies to Watch award by the Colorado Department of Economic Development and International Trade. Every Friday 9NEWS is reporting on a new company.