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John Daly

John Daly

Dr. John C.K. Daly is the chief analyst for Oilprice.com, Dr. Daly received his Ph.D. in 1986 from the School of Slavonic and East European…

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Has Algae.Tec Cracked Algae's Biofuel Pricing Ability to Compete with a Barrel of Oil?

Amidst the relentless promotion of renewable biofuel alternatives to traditional fossil fuel hydrocarbons, the three leading contenders are jatpropha, camelina and algae.

But among the many barriers holding back industrial production of biofuels is that no company up to now has yet figured out how to produce a gallon of biofuel at a price that can compete with gasoline.

Apparently until now, if press releases by Algae.Tec are anything to go by. The company, founded only three years ago, has offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Perth, Western Australia.

Algae.Tec founders, Earl McConchie and Roger Stroud, have been involved in the biofuel industry since 1999 and have developed a high-yield enclosed algae growth and harvesting system, they labeled the McConchie-Stroud System, which uses low-maintenance technologies and an efficient solar system to produce algae in one-tenth of the land surface as compared to the current pond methods for producing algae. The McConchie-Stroud System photo-bioreactors produce oils which can be refined into biodiesel, sugar carbohydrates that can be used in the production of ethanol, proteins that can be used as feedstock for farm animals, and protein and carbohydrate biomass that can be combined to produce jet fuel.

Beating the PR drum for his company Stroud said, "Algae technology developed by the company has demonstrated exceptional performance, providing step-change improvements in productivity, product yield, carbon dioxide sequestration, plant footprint requirements and substantial capital and cost savings as compared to agricultural crops and other competitive algae processes in the industry."

Most interestingly, for a world increasingly concerned with greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs), the McChoncie-Stroud System technology captures CO2 pollution from power stations and manufacturing facilities, which in turn are used to feed the algae growth system. Algae.Tec currently has 11 patent applications pending for its proprietary technology.

For a relatively new start-up company, Algae.Tec has already signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), one in China and the other in Australia and in January the company was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

But moving beyond theory, Algae.Tec is now building a full scale prototype plant, having earlier this month signed a collaboration agreement to provide five bioreactor modules to Sri Lankan Holcim Lanka Limited cement and building…




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