Bio-fuels from algae

One of the most serious environmental problems today is that of global warming, caused primarily by the heavy use of fossil fuels. In Japan, large amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere from electric power plants and industry. The CO2 generated by these large point sources could potentially be recovered with relative ease through the use of an established technology such as chemical absorption. The enormity of the amounts of potentially recoverable CO2 would however necessitate the development of technologies for sequestering or, more favorably, utilizing this CO2.
Photosynthetic micro algae are potential candidates for utilizing excessive amounts of CO2, since when cultivated these organisms are capable of fixing CO2 to produce energy and chemical compounds upon exposure to sunlight. The derivation of energy from algal biomass is an attractive concept in that unlike fossil fuels, algal biomass is rather uniformly distributed over much of the earth's surface, and its utilization would make no net contribution to increasing atmospheric CO2 levels.

Micro algae posses several attractive characteristics:
1) Costs associated with the harvesting and transportation or micro algae are relatively low, in comparison with those of other biomass materials such as trees, crops, etc.
2) By virtue of their relatively small sizes, micro algae can be easily chemically treated.
3) Algae can be grown under conditions which are unsuitable for conventional crop production.
4) Micro algae are capable of fixing CO2 in the atmosphere, thus facilitating the reduction of increasing atmospheric CO2 levels, which are now considered a global problem.
Micro algal oils are produced through either biological conversion to lipids or hydrocarbons or thermochemical liquefaction of algal cells.
Micro algae contain lipids and fatty acids as membrane components, storage products, metabolites and sources of energy. Algal fatty acids and oils have a range of potential applications. Algal oils posses characteristics similar to those offish and vegetable oils, and can thus be considered as potential substitutes for the products of fossil oil

Algal bio-diesel consultancy

Micro algae are very efficient converters of solar energy. Being photosynthetic, algae utilize atmospheric carbon di oxide to produce oil. The productivity is much higher when compared to land crops. Water requirement is also very low when compared to other agricultural crops.
Algal technology will not compete with the existing technologies and will not encroach upon agricultural land and precious freshwater. Algae being very simple organisms have the ability to adapt to any hostile conditions and still maintain the productivity.
Research work carried out by Phyco spectrum
Several marine micro algae isolated from sea were screened for growth, productivity, pigments and biochemical constituents like protein, carbohydrate and lipids. Experiments to optimize parameters to obtain higher growth rates associated with enhanced oil production were conducted.
Laboratory Studies

  1. to enhance photosynthetic rate
  2. to increase biomass yield and lipid production
  3. to minimize the cost of nutrients by switching over to cheaper sources like industrial effluents and wastewaters
  4. to minimize cost on drying algae before lipid extraction through other physical and chemical methods
  5. to grow micro algae in open raceway ponds without contamination During the pilot plant trials valuable data on growth, physiology , nutrient requirement and oil production were collected which will be helpful when scaling up.


World's First Phycoremediation plant: Dr V Sivasubramanian, has set up the First Phycoremediation plant at SNAP Industry. Algal remediation technology helps in pH correction of the acidic effluent and complete reduction of sludge formation. SNAP is now a zero disposal company. The phycoremediation plant has been in operation from September 2006. The effluent generated by the industry is highly acidic and of very high TDS (40000 mg/L). The entire effluent is evaporated using slope tank with zero sludge formation. The algal biomass produced is used in Biofertilizer preparation and sold by the Company. .......(.more )


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Contact Us

For consultancy on algae based remediation, bio-fuels and CO2 mitigation and algal biomass production

Dr V Sivasubramanian, Director

Phyco Spectrum, 132 (52 A) A K Block, 7th Main road, (click here for location map), Anna Nagar, Chennai 600040, India. Email to: Phone: 91 044 42122699. Mobile: 91 9677144453 ;