The production of algae was one of the most interesting subjects in The ABLCGlobal Conference for bioeconomy hold in November, 2018, in San Francisco.
Algae-based biofuels and bioproducts offer great promise in contributing the U.S. Department of Energy. In recent years, the algae biofuels research, development and demonstration has achieved technological advancements that can bring about transformational changes, including the ability to predict, breed, and select the best-performing strains; the ability to monitor and control system inputs in a dynamic and integrated fashion; the ability to harvest algae at high throughputs; and the ability to extract and convert more algal biomass components into fuels.
According to Neste, the Finnish oil company, algae oil is a promising raw material for renewable diesel. The years of development is now starting to bear fruit globally as pilot testing facilities and commercial plans. Algae’s yield per hectare can be many times the yield of traditional vegetable oils. In addition to water, algae needs sunlight, carbon dioxide and nutrients to grow. Many species of algae live in sea water, which means that they can be grown in saline water. Some projects even use wastewater. A special advantage in the cultivation of algae is the fact that they can be grown in areas that cannot be used for agriculture. Neste supports the commercial scale production by signing conditional off-take agreements with algae companies. Such agreements have been signed with American companies Cellana and RAE. The production volumes may increase in the years to come, and algae oil may become an important raw material of Neste’s renewable diesel.