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GreenFuel experimented with growing algae in tubes and bags at its Arizona pilot farm. While most of its competitors are sticking to these methods, GreenFuels has developed a closely-guarded greenhouse technologies which grows algae at higher yields and an automated system to harvest the crop. It will be debutting this setup at a commercial scale plant in Spain, to be complete in 2011.  (Source: PetroAlgae)
Algae company's harvest will make biodiesel, nutritious livestock feed

Many in the alternative fuels industry agree that algae is where the mid-range future of the biodiesel industry lies.  While fuels such as ethanol and cellulosic ethanol may prevail in the short term, algae is seen as the final stepping stone before full synthetic gasoline production.  This value is due to algae's ability to grow rich long chain hydrocarbons.  When algae is genetically engineered, it can produce large amounts of oil that is essentially diesel grade. 

The big question with algae tech is not whether it will arrive, but when it will arrive.  DailyTech had previously followed Cambridge, Mass. based GreenFuel Technologies' effort to bring its specially bred algae to the market.  The company, founded by MIT graduates, had built a pilot farm in Arizona, previously.  By growing algae in tubes, it found that algae would get optimal sun exposure.  Its only problem was that it grew too much algae, blocking out light, and eventually killing part of the crop.

Now GreenFuel is taking its experience and has become the first algae company to announce a profitable business deal and the construction of a commercial scale growth facility.   Spain's Aurantia, a leading alternative energy investment firm, has agreed to pay GreenFuels $92M to build a 100 hectacre (250 acre) algae farm.  The farm will produce 25,000 tons of biomass yearly.

GreenFuel, which recently celebrated its 7th anniversary, already has a 100 square-meter prototype greenhouse operating at the site in Spain.  GreenFuel ditched the growing tubes, opting for a top-secret tubeless proprietary growing process, one which includes automated harvesting.  Thus far the company has declined to reveal the secretive workings of this new design.

It has, however, announced its intention to scale the production up quickly.  It plans to have a 1,000 square-meter installation online by the end of the year.  The full farm is scheduled to be completed by 2011. 

The plant will take carbon dioxide emissions from the nearby Holcim cement plant near Jerez, Spain and use it to increase algae yields.  This will cut down on Holcim cement plant near Jerez, Spain, almost 10 percent of the factory's output.  This will help the factory meet tougher emissions standards.

The developers are in the process of selecting which strains of algae to grow.  Certain strains are optimized for biodiesel production; bred to produce extra oil.  Other strains produce extra nutrients like protein and make for more nutritious animal feed.

CEO Simon Upfill-Brown acknowledges that the field is full of overly optimistic visions, but insists his company is firmly grounded in reality and a series of successful trials.  He states, "Some people are making clearly outrageous claims. We're at the stage where we can say we are pretty comfortable and very optimistic that we're getting all the way there in phases."

One trouble spot for the upcoming farm is falling gas prices.  With gas low, it may be harder for the farm's biodiesel production to be economically competitive.  This was cited as the resaon for rival Imperium Renewables' delay of its plan to launch a smaller algae farm in Hawaii.

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Genetic engineering = ecocide
By Ictor on 10/21/2008 4:30:12 PM , Rating: -1
This one dangerous scientific article.

This isn't about working with nature it's about a biological violation called genetic engineering. Science tries to create a tunnelvision so people look at the promised golden mountains and not at the dangerous ecological impacts of genetic engineering. Those scientist believe genes came from a primorial biotic soup meaning sea sludge.

Genetic engineering is so profoundly an utterly divorced from any respect for life that it can only lead to harm. Fiddle with genetic structure of life and present the result of this malevolence as a bright future, means those scientist live in a psychosis.

Everybody knows about comparing human behavior with nature (behaving like a pig). If you look at genetic engineering as a behavior and look at nature for it, you see that no paramecium, no molecule, no atom, no electron engages in such behavior.

No building block of the universe behaves like this.

You can step into an engineered fantasy world with glittering marvels and wonders beyond the horizon. But when you display contempt for life, desctruction of life is what you shall experience.

You shall be kicked back into the reality where the behavior of those psychopathic scientist is nowhere to be found.

RE: Genetic engineering = ecocide
By ziggo on 10/21/2008 6:23:11 PM , Rating: 3
"At no point in your rambling, incoherent response was there anything that could even be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

My best attempt at translation:

Genetic Modificaiton/Engineering is dangerous

Evolution is a lie

People responsible for genetic modification shall be cast into hell for their abominations.
(I am unsure if this is an enviromentalist hell for sins against the earth threat, or a christian hell for sins against god threat.)

RE: Genetic engineering = ecocide
By Ictor on 10/22/08, Rating: -1
RE: Genetic engineering = ecocide
By FITCamaro on 10/22/2008 7:35:37 AM , Rating: 2
You do realize that nearly every food crop we have has been genetically engineered of sorts by man for the past few thousand years right? Farmers have been "breeding" the best strains of plants since there has been farming. Now we're just taking it to the next level and it has yielded marvelous benefits.

RE: Genetic engineering = ecocide
By Ictor on 10/22/2008 8:50:42 AM , Rating: 1
Yes I read this by Richard Dawkins inspired nonsense before. Everything is genetic modification the wolf changing in a chihuahua, pittless grapes etc. If everything is genetic modification what then "modified" the wolf, the wild grape? They existed long before modern man appeared. I will answere that question for you: it's the same evolutionairy process that changed a mutant monkey in us human beings. So what science is saying, hidden behind the pointing to things, happening in nature due to symbiotic relationships, is the belief that genetic modification is the speed up version of the evolutionary process that changed mutant apes into us human beings. Science can't say this because 70% of world population doesn,t believe it and they have not one convincing piece of evidence.

RE: Genetic engineering = ecocide
By Spuke on 10/22/2008 2:12:00 PM , Rating: 2
it's the same evolutionairy process that changed a mutant monkey in us human beings.
Which IS genetic modification...LOL!

RE: Genetic engineering = ecocide
By Ictor on 10/22/2008 2:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
Genetic modification can leap missing links then.

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