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Algae Biofuel, Part 2: The Dynamics of Growth & Production Samuel Coe Energy Law Fall 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Algae Biofuel, Part 2: The Dynamics of Growth & Production Samuel Coe Energy Law Fall 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Algae Biofuel, Part 2: The Dynamics of Growth & Production Samuel Coe Energy Law Fall 2010

2 Overview Algae Cultivation ◦ Open Pond, Photobioreator and Hybrid Systems Finding the Right Algae ◦ Aquatic Species Program Genetic Engineering ◦ Regulatory Complications Patent Protection U.S. Government Algae Policy ◦ International Influence Future Predictions

3 “The successful growth of algae is more or less an art and a daily tightrope act with the aim of keeping the necessary prerequisites and various unpredictable events involved in algal mass cultivation in a sort of balance” - E. Wolfgang Becker

4 How does algae grow? Sunlight, Water & Carbon Dioxide

5 From the Pond to the Fuel Pump

6 Open Pond Systems

7 Pond Pros & Cons -Low Costs -Easy to Operate and Maintain -High Contamination Risk -Lots of Water and Space

8 Closed Photobioreactors


10 PB Pros & Cons High Productivity, but High Costs

11 Early Algae PBs MIT rooftop, circa.1950

12 Vertigro Production potential of 100,000 oil gal/year for each acre of bioreactors

13 Hybrid Systems Innoculation ◦ Grow the seed and set it free. Wastewater Management Carbon Capture Algae Bioreactor attached to smoke stack at power plant.

14 Finding the Right Algae Over 40,000 species of algae have been identified, likely hundreds of thousands more to be discovered

15 Aquatic Species Program U.S. Dep. of Energy & National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) 1978 – 1996 3,000 species of algae studied and analyzed, only 51 labeled “high value”

16 Genetic Engineering of Algae

17 The Source of Algae Energy

18 Genetic “Biomanufacturing” Biological Secretion of Lipids No Need for Costly Physical Extraction

19 Dangers of Genetic Engineering? - “FrankenAlgae”- “Suicide Genes”

20 Genetically-Engineered Algae Regulations Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Plant Protection Act (PPA) Conflicting Regulatory Agencies – E.P.A. v. U.S.D.A?

21 Patent Protection for Algae Systems

22 Plant Patents 35 U.S.C.A § 161: “Whoever invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, including cultivated sports, mutants, hybrids, and newly found seedlings, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.”

23 The Pros & Cons of Algae Patents Increased Incentive for Invention IP Assets to Attract Further Investment Big Oil Patent Hunting? Litigation Risks

24 U.S. Algae Policy Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) ◦ Section 228: Algal Biomass (R & D) American Recovery & Reinvestment Act Making Amends for Past Neglect?

25 International Algae China, Japan, Argentina, New Zealand, India, & more have joined the algae game

26 Future Predictions Biofuel Vehicles“Green” Buildings More Research & Development Further Private & Government Investment Clearer Regulatory & Statutory Guidelines for Algae Businesses

27 Conclusion

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