2nd Algae Biofuel Summit


This site has been partially restored and archived under a grant from the Web Archive Project as an historically significant document revealing a moment in time in the search for renewable energy sources. Educators are invited to include it in their reading lists and other course work, and are encouraged to link to this page. TNG/Earthling's Bob Sakayama - one of the early adopters of artificial intelligence for seo - provided technical assistance. Coding legend Rev Sale handled development and hosting. Eco-advocate, media darling, and NYC's renown corporate attorney Benjamin Pred managed content and research.



The was the event website for the 2009 2nd Algae Biofuel Summit held in New Delphi, India.
Content is from the site's 2009 archive pages as well as from other outside sources.


Event : 2nd Algae Biofuel Summit 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009 - 06:29

Conducted by:

Growdiesel Climate Care Council

After the success of Energy Farming Summit 2009 & Algae Biofuel Summit 2008, Growdiesel Climate Care Council is pleased to invite you to the next version of  International Summit on Algae Biofuels to be held on the 8th , 9th & 10th of September 2009 in India. The Summit is focused on next generation of Biofuels using Algae as the main feedstock. The summit offers an excellent opportunity for investors, entrepreneurs, Biofuel companies, renewable fuel experts, their associates and academia to share their valuable experiences and knowledge.

The main objective of the Summit is to provide an up-to-date understanding of the next generation feedstocks and technologies in the Algae Biofuel Industry. The Summit will be an excellent platform to disseminate information regarding recent research and development activities in the fields of phycology, algae mass production systems, photobioreactor technologies and other important areas of Algae Biofuel Industry. Biofuels are emerging as a trillion dollar futuristic industry, and this summit offers many value added opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and Biofuel companies as well as industry experts. The summit's technical & financial topics will encompass the entire Algae Biofuel Industry.


Discover the art & science of converting Sun’s energy to Biofuels Using CO2, water & Algae

2nd Algae Biofuel Summit 2009

 8th, 9th, & 10th September, 2009, India

While number of bio-feed stock are currently being tried for bio-diesel production, out of which algae have emerged as one of the most promising source for bio-diesel production to reduce the burden of oil crises and fast depleting fossil oil reserves.  Algae are emerging as preferred feed stock for global biofuel industry owing to their non-food nature, capability to grow on waste land with sea water and highest oil yield per acre.

Algae farming for oil is the next biggest opportunity for the Biofuel industry. Algae, like corn, soybeans, sugar cane, Jatropha, and other plants, use photosynthesis to convert solar energy into chemical energy. They store this energy in the form of oils, carbohydrates, and proteins. The plant oil can be converted to biodiesel; hence biodiesel is a form of solar energy. The more efficient a particular plant is at converting that solar energy into chemical energy, the better it is from a biodiesel perspective, and algae are among the most photosynthetically efficient plants on earth.

The main objective of the Summit is to provide an improved up-to-date understanding of the next generation feedstocks and technologies in Algae Biofuel Industry. The Summit will be an excellent platform to disseminate information regarding recent research and development activities in the field of Algae, mass production systems, Photobioreactor technologies and other important areas of Algae Biofuel Industry. In view of Biofuels emerging as a trillion dollar futuristic industry, the summit shall bring out many value added consulting opportunities for the speakers as well as industry experts. The technical & financial topics of summit will cover the entire Algae Biofuel Industry.

During last one year, Growdiesel has organized two highly successful international summits “Algae Biofuel Summit 2008” from 17th to 19th September 2008 & “Energy Farming Summit 2009” on 12th & 13th April 2009 in India. These summits was attended by researchers, scientist, top management experts and delegates from leading research institutes, universities and reputed organizations from over 21 countries across the world.

Growdiesel Climate Care Council is pleased to invite you to the next version of International Summit on Algae Biofuels to be held on 8th, 9th & 10th of September 2009 in India. The Summit is focused on next generation of Biofuels using Algae as the main feedstock. The summit offers an excellent opportunity for investors, entrepreneurs, Biofuel companies, renewable fuel experts, their associates and academia to share their valuable experiences and knowledge.


Key topics to be covered at 2nd Algae Biofuel Summit 2009


§         An introduction to Biofuels

§         An introduction to First Generation Biofuels

§         Current Status of global biofuel industry

§         An introduction to Algae Biofuel – The next Generation Biofuel

§         Advantages of Algae over first generation biofuels

§         Current status of global algae biofuel industry.

§         Pros & Cons – sustainability factors in technological, economical , social & regulatory environments. Do Algae Biofuels provide solutions to the fuel vs. food debate?

§         An introduction to An introduction to Algae Growing Systems

§         Studying the technological options for algae farming systems-Open Ponds or Enclosed Ponds

§         Enclosed Photobioreactor Systems

§         Hybrid systems using Enclosed Ponds & Enclosed Photobioreactor Systems

§         Enclosed Photobioreactors vs. open ponds - which is the right technology for commercial Algae Biofuel projects?

§         Studying the capacity options for energy farming systems. Small vs. large: What is the right size of an energy farm?

§         Lipid Production from microalgae, strain selection, induction of lipid synthesis and outdoor growth- Algal Strain Selection and development of Algae Mass Culture Techniques for Biofuel Production

§         Maximising solar conversion efficiency in mass culture

§         Achieving both high oil content and high productivity in mass culture

§         Opportunities in Algae Biofuel Sector for corporate

§         Using Algae as a tool for CO2 mitigation and driving the Carbon Capture and Recycling process for reversal of global warming

§         Developing a process for Production of algae from industrial plant flue gases – An approach toward Emission to Biofuel

§         Opportunities in Algae Biofuel Sector for SME-small & medium entrepreneurs

§         Financial Modelling and feasibility assessment for decentralized Bioenergy farm Project

§         Developing a process to purify, compress and bottle algae biogas as compressed methane gas for using as motor fuel and cooking gas

§         Establishing a marketing network to sell environmental friendly bioenergy products

§         Opportunities in Algae Biofuel Sector for Rural Entrepreneurs

§         Sustained algae cultivation in open ponds

§         Developing a process for integrating Algae Biofuel projects with dairy, piggery, poultry and aquaculture farms

§         Developing natural milk with high percentage of good cholesterol

§         Developing eggs and poultry products with high percentage of good cholesterol

§         Opportunities in Algae Biofuel Sector for Public Bodies/ESCO companies

§         Developing a process to utilize Algae for treatment of liquid waste/effluent waste water & using the resultant algal biomass for Bioenergy production

§         Developing a process for extracting nutrients from municipal waste water before safe discharge in river streams & using the resultant algal biomass for Bioenergy production

§         One to one meeting of Biofuel producers with biofuel product traders to discuss opportunities for mutual tie-up

§         Road Map to enter the trillion dollars next generation Biofuel Industry by Thinking BIG & starting small

§         Developing a CDM project for obtaining Carbon credits for Algae Biofuel projects

§         Tapping innovative Financing options for Integrated Bioenergy Projects



 Frequently Asked Questions about Algae Biofuels


Q: What are algae?

Algae are simple organisms that range from very small, single-celled microalgae to macroalgae that group into very large organisms such as kelp. There are more than 300,000 species of algae in global algae culture collections. The vast majority of algae are photosynthetic, deriving energy from the sun to produce energy and biomass.

Q: Are algae currently a commercial crop?

Yes. Algae are grown commercially around the world, primarily for nutritional, feed, and specialty product use.

Q: What is required to grow algae?

The primary requirements for growing algae are sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide (CO2). Algae also require nutrients and environmental conditions appropriate to the specific algal species.

Q: How much CO2 is used by algae?

Algae productivity is dependent on carbon intake, as carbon constitutes over 50% by weight of Algae Biomass. Algae can consume high concentrations of CO2 (between 5-30%) as it is emitted from power, cement and chemical plants before it is absorbed into the atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2, at less than 0.04%, need to be supplemented with additional CO2 to deliver high productivities.

Q: What kind of algae is used for biofuels?

Microalgae are selected based on a number of factors, most notably high innate growth rates, favorable overall composition (lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins), and ability to grow in specific climatic conditions.

Q: How much algae grows in a hectare?

There are a number of variables including innate growth rate per species and seasonal availability of sunlight. We anticipate that a commercial algae farm will grow an average of 10 times more oil per hectare as compared to Jatropha. We estimate a modest growth rate of 100 tons Algae Biomass per hectare per year. From this we shall obtain 25 tons of oil & balance shall be used for cattle feed.

Q: What products does an algae crop yield?

An algae farm is designed to produce a number of products including algal oil, delipidated algal meal (DAM) and dried whole algae (DWA). The algal oil is suitable for conversion to biodiesel and can be substituted for any other vegetable oil (soy, palm, Jatropha) in a commercial biodiesel production plant. The DAM and DWA are suitable for a wide variety of animal feed applications.

Q: How much oil can be made from algae?

Different species of algae generate different amounts of oil. Algae species can contain from 2% to 70% of their weight as oil.

Q: How does Algal meal compare to other meal products?

The algae meal has a high protein content compared to other animal feed product such as dried distiller’s grains from ethanol production or soy meal after oil removal.

Q: What is the benefit of focusing on algae instead of other energy crops like Jatropha?

Growdiesel has done substantial work on Jatropha, in fact we have a portfolio of 30 different fast growing variants of Jatropha. We also have a model plantation in 100 acres in India. However we discovered that Algae have some advantages to other energy crops, specifically:

 Algae are the fastest growing plants in the world and can be grown year round, unlike seasonal crops.

 Algae farming does not require agricultural land or clean water, so it does not compete with food crops for these resources. 

While it is difficult to compare one energy crop to another, per hectare of farming of algae is around 10 to 100 times more productive than corn, soy, palm or Jatropha,

Unlike other energy crops, the entire biomass produced from algae can be used in end products.

 Lastly, the algae can be used to produce renewable biofuels needed to reduce dependence on non-renewable fuel sources such as coal, oil and natural gas.

Experts shall be available at the summit for providing you complete info on this wonderful project.

Q: Do you believe that algae are the solution to the world’s energy problems?

We believe that ecological and energy issues are complicated and will require a variety of solutions -- of which algae will be one.

Q: Are there any accurate measures to compare algae to other energy crops?

Due to a large number of variables, it is difficult to accurately compare one energy crop to another. We recommend comparing energy crops based on the final products produced, and the resources required to produce those products. 

Q: How are algae different from other energy crops?

Algae are different from other energy crops in one significant way--the entire biomass produced from an algae farm can be used in end products that are economically valuable. Unlike comparable crops (corn, sugar cane, rapeseed/canola, palm, soybeans, sunflower, Jatropha, etc.) which typically contain a substantial amount of wasted biomass, 100% of algal biomass can be used to create new products.

Q: How does algae productivity compare to other energy crops?

Unlike seasonal crops, algae can be grown year round. Since an algae crop does not result in wasted biomass, algae are generally considered to be more productive than comparable energy crops. While other TBO like Jatropha takes 2-3 years for a commercial crop, algae farm can start yielding within 2-3 days. While Jatropha gives crop once a year, algae can give oil on daily basis just like milk.

Q: How much CO2 can algae consume?

CO2 consumption is based on the overall lipid/protein/carbohydrates balance of the final algae. Lipids are typically about 75% carbon by weight, with carbohydrates approximately 40% carbon by weight, and proteins between the two. Algae are approximately 50-55% carbon by weight; about 1.9 times the biomass weight in CO2 is required to generate algae with this composition. If algae with a higher lipid content is produced, that ratio will be higher; the higher the carbohydrate composition, the lower this ratio.

Q: How large must an algae farm be to mitigate emissions from a typical power plant?

Based on information in public domain, for approximately 50 power plants in India that generate and sell electricity as their primary business and use coal as the primary power source, the average facility nameplate size is 655 megawatts. For this 'average' plant, when both the power plant and algae farm are in full operation, approximately 8000 hectares of algae growing area is required to consume 40% of CO2 emissions. To achieve a 5% reduction in CO2emissions, 500 hectares of algae growing area would be required for each power plant. This becomes an interesting business model for the utility as it can generate huge carbon credits by converting its emissions to biodiesel.

Q: How much water does an algae farm require?

An enclosed algae farm uses minimal water and the evaporation losses are also limited. Some water is required for the photosynthesis reaction, and some is lost in the creation of algal products. However as compared to any other energy crop, algae farm consumes just 1% of water.

Q: Can an algae farm use waste feed water streams that are high in nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen?

Nutrient-rich waste water feed streams will be used to provide some or all of the nutrients needs of the algae farm. Streams which have a potential to be used in this way include runoff from animal facilities and treated wastewater.           

Q: Where can I get complete info to establish an algae Biofuel project?

Please register online for attending Algae Biofuel Summit 2009. Experts shall be available at the summit for providing you complete info on this wonderful project.

Q: What is Photosynthesis?

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants utilize the energy in the sun’s rays to produce energy and new plant matter (biomass). Photosynthesis is the base reaction supplying the vast majority of energy used by plants and animals on earth. In photosynthesis, energy (photons) from the sun’s rays converts carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrate plus oxygen. The carbohydrate can be converted to protein or fat.

Solar energy is spread along a wide range of wavelengths, of which only a portion is useable for photosynthesis. The wavelengths useable by plants are known as photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), and include about 45-50% of the total solar energy. Energy requirements of the photosynthesis reaction reduce the usability of that 45-50% by another factor of 4, making the theoretical energy use roughly 11% of the overall solar energy.

This photosynthetic efficiency is translated into biomass including fats, proteins, complex carbohydrates (cellulose, lignin, etc.) and simple carbohydrates. Also, most crops contain water. To eliminate the effect of water, we present values based on dry biomass. We also need to understand that production of other compounds from simple carbohydrates requires some of the energy.

We have grown algae at a photosynthetic efficiency of approximately 5.4% under natural sunlight. General crops grow at a photosynthetic efficiency of approximately 1%. Algae can be grown much more efficiently because of the nature of the bioreactor and the removal of factors that might limit growth such as lack of nutrients or CO2.

You can also improve algae growth by using artificial lighting. Algae will grow 24 hours per day if there is sufficient light. However, due to the energy losses inherent in each step from generating electricity to create light and using the light for photosynthesis, this is not economical for anything other than studies, unless the value of the final product is very high (as it is for some commercial algae farms where artificial light is used).

Algae could allow companies to recycle emitted CO2 from flue gases and even earn a profit from being "green". Fast growing algae use the process of photosynthesis to harness sunlight and carbon dioxide and then convert them into carbohydrates. The cells containing these valuable materials can then be utilized for the production of various fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol, or used as ingredients for animal feed.

Companies, having issues with environmental control, can surely benefit from such technology. Algae farming technologies will allow the capture and recycling of CO2 from smokestacks, fermentations and geothermal gases. The beautiful part of this technology is that industrial facilities do not need large internal modifications to host an algae farm.

More details about this promising technology can be had at 2nd Algae Biofuel Summit 2009” from 8th to 10th Sept 2009.

Algae can surely make an impact on many industrial companies. The algae technology has the potential to substantially effect companies' policies, making it more profitable not to pollute.


2019 An update: When my teen age twins learned that I was looking at rentals in Lahaina on the Hawaiin island of Maui for their late winter school break they were both excited, but not for the reasons you might think.

Surfing, snorkeling, sunbathing, hikes, zip line, a Hana Road trip, a sunrise or sunset trip to the top of Haleakalā are activities that come to mind when thinking about Maui. What my kids wanted to see was the Maui-based Pacific Bio-diesel. With more than 100 employees statewide, it is the nation’s longest-operating and most experienced biodiesel producer, along with being the state’s only commercial producer of liquid biofuels. The two were doing a report for their senior science project about biofuels. Pacific Biodiesel has been a leader in renewable fuel production since it created the first retail biodiesel pump in the U.S. in 1996. Launched as a way to divert waste cooking oils and grease from Central Maui Landfill, the company grew into a state-of-the-art biodiesel refinery, with collection fleets on three islands and an agricultural operation that creates high-value co-products, including its Kuleana line of natural skin care products and its Maiden Hawaii Naturals culinary and cosmetic oils.

Being able to visit Pacific Biodiesel would be perfect for their report. I suggested they write to the company to see if they could have a tour or at least speak to someone there. Meanwhile I was doing my research on which Lahaina condo rental would be most convenient and suit our family needs, booking plane tickets, and getting organized,

Update: The week vacation was better than I could have imagined. We all would have loved to stay longer. The kids were able to tour Pacific Biodiesel and submit their science paper which was given an A (says the proud mother).

It's a shame that our federal government under Trump and the the GOP have slowed down the incentives for this type of energy source. However according to Pacific Biodiesel President Bob King, California stepped up and now they’ve got what’s called a low carbon fuel standard that makes it worthwhile to bring renewables to California. “It seems silly, and I just cringe, why would we send fuel from here where it’s most expensive to California where it’s pretty cheap, but we have to get our path from here to there, and right now the big support we do have in Hawaii is from the PUC, from Hawaiian Electric.”


Biofuels Plant in Hawaii Is First to Be Certified as Sustainable

By Diane Cardwell | www.nytimes.com
May 13, 2016

A worker checking how much biodiesel has been fed into a tanker at the company’s Kea’au biodiesel refinery.CreditCreditKent Nishimura for The New York Times

KEAAU, Hawaii — The trucks roll in and out of the plant at a business park nestled near papaya farms and a forest preserve on the Big Island here, an operation that transforms waste cooking oils, animal fats, fruit and seeds into biodiesel fuel, nearly 13,000 gallons a day.

Owned by Pacific Biodiesel, an industry pioneer, the plant was designed with an eye toward conserving water and energy and avoiding environmental harm.

But after about $20 million and four years of operation, a central question about the plant, and the industry as a whole, has persisted: Do biofuels ultimately reduce carbon emissions?

“We’re worried that the efforts to ramp up our use of biofuels are actually doing a lot of damage and digging the climate hole deeper,” said Jonathan Lewis, a lawyer focused on climate change at the Clean Air Task Force.

Now, the biodiesel industry’s backers say they have an answer, at least for this modest plant. The Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance, a nonprofit industry group, commissioned an audit of the plant’s sustainability by an independent company, and the result was yes. It was the first United States-based certification of sustainability granted for a biodiesel plant, according to the alliance.

The certification is intended to help clean fuel producers distinguish themselves to customers seeking green products — a kind of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for the environmentally conscious.

For biofuels, the environmental benefits of which have fallen under increasing scrutiny in recent years, that differentiation is ever more important, executives and advocates say.


A control room at Pacific Biodiesel’s Kea’au biodiesel refinery.CreditKent Nishimura for The New York Times

“There are lots of different ways of making biodiesel — lots of different feedstocks — and some have been more sustainable than others,” said Jeff Plowman, chairman of the alliance’s certification committee. “Much like the organic labeling or non-G.M.O. labeling, it gives consumers some information to make a choice,” a reference to nongenetically modified organisms.

A decade or so ago, biofuels seemed to have great potential to help wean the country off fossil fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plants absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, making them essentially carbon-neutral if used for fuel, the thinking went.

Starting in 2005, the federal government approved requiring biofuels to be blended into the gasoline supply at increasing volumes, a move that, with generous grants and subsidies, helped spur their production.

But much of that was ethanol from food crops like corn and sugar cane, which led to criticisms. Using those crops for fuel can drive up the price of food and animal feed and release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as farmers clear land, including rain forests, to grow more of those crops to meet the increasing demand. And although biodiesel differs from ethanol — it derives from oils rather than sugars and works in conventional diesel engines — it, too, can fall into a similar cycle.

“It’s a bunch of small economic steps, but if the end result is deforestation of a tropical forest, there’s a massive carbon pulse when you do that,” Mr. Lewis, the Clean Air Task Force lawyer, said.

As a result, producers have been migrating toward so-called advanced biofuels, which are generally made from plant or animal feedstocks that do not compete with food uses, but they have proved difficult and expensive to produce, and because petroleum prices are so low, they have become less attractive.

In addition, climate change specialists say, there may simply not be enough agricultural waste to produce significant quantities of biofuel without causing other environmental problems, and it is important to account for what would have happened to the waste material had it not been funneled into fuel.

“You can’t just automatically make assumptions that, say, waste-based fuel is O.K.,” said John M. DeCicco, a research professor at the University of Michigan Energy Institute. “If you have a waste that was otherwise not going to decay, then that carbon is already being kept out of the air with respect to the atmosphere, and at that point you’re as ahead of the game as you’re ever going to be.”

Oil from macadamia nuts is used in many of the company’s “Maiden Hawaii Naturals” brand products.CreditKent Nishimura for The New York Times

At the same time, debate over the usefulness of biofuels, especially corn ethanol, in reducing greenhouse gas emissions has intensified, with studies drawing conflicting conclusions.

But here in Hawaii, where leaders have pushed aggressively to embrace renewable energy sources, the Pacific Biodiesel plant avoids many of these problems, climate specialists say.

The company makes its fuel from local waste products, including restaurant cooking oils and grease and agricultural products like macadamia nuts — turned into oil — considered unsuitable for market.

Here at the refinery, the oils move through a series of stainless steel tanks and columns as they are processed and distilled into fuel. Methanol, a chemical used in the refining, is recycled, and the company is trying to develop local markets for byproducts like glycerin and potassium salts, which can be used as fertilizer.

As for the biodiesel itself, it does not travel very far: The company sells almost all of it to customers in Hawaii, rather than shipping it long distances.

The company is working to develop new feedstocks, and it is experimenting with safflower, sunflower and jatropha plants. But it also focuses on materials that can have nonenergy uses, such as its project that grows algae from waste papayas for use as fertilizer or feed for fish farms, or the cattle operations that sprawl across the Big Island’s center.

“As we’re growing energy crops, we’re bringing the cattle industry with us because we need them to take all of this protein meal,” said Robert King, who founded the company, which has headquarters in Maui, in 1995 with his wife, Kelly. She, along with Willie Nelson and his wife, Annie, and Daryl Hannah, are co-founders of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance.

“It’s a complicated puzzle, and you have to have all the pieces, but it does all fit together,” Mr. King added. “In order to reinvent agriculture in Hawaii, which we have to, this is how we’re going to get it done.”