Could algae save us from the pothole nightmare?

Microscopic algae could hold the answer to the pothole nightmare that is blighting our roads.

A French collaborative programme, Algoroute, has been examining the production of bio-bitumen from algae. Using a process called hydrothermal liquefaction (pressurised water), waste algae is transformed into black, viscous bio-bitumen. The thick liquid has very similar characteristics to fossil-fuel based bitumen used on the roads.

The properties of the algal bio-bitumen suggest it could be an alternative for traditional bitumen used to bind aggregate on the roads and may be the future, creating “green” roads. Experimental trials and cost evaluations are being undertaken and further information will be available soon.

Watch this space…

For more details click here 

Energy company ExxonMobil continues to research algal biofuels

ExxonMobil continues to fund a wide range of research into next generation biofuels, which includes the potential of algae. The work forms part of their ongoing examination of new technologies that will increase energy supplies, company efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Over the last 40 years algae have been widely studied as a feedstock for biofuel, as many species produce large quantities of storage oil products. The oil can be chemically modified to give a bio-diesel of similar composition to current transport diesel fuel.  Cultivating algae has many benefits, including reducing green house gas emissions by direct incorporation of carbon dioxide; potentially higher yields of biofuel compared to other feedstocks and algal crops do not compete with food production for land or water.

ExxonMobil have a number of research collaborations focusing on algae-based biofuels and other non-food based feedstocks for biofuel with: Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI), Colorado School of Mines and Michigan State; Renewable Energy Group (REG) and the University of Wisconsin.

Read more details of the research and development programme.

Algae recognised as agricultural crop in United States

algae_Pseudochloroccum

A new Algae Agricultural Act has been introduced to congress in the United States. The bill will give algal farmers the same advantages as farmers of traditional crops. The legislation reflects an increasing recognition of the potential of algae as an extremely useful agricultural crop for future food, feedstocks and the energy sector.

Read the full article

ALL- ENERGY 2018 – We’re at Stand HIE49

We’re looking forward to attending ALL-Energy this week

2nd and 3rd May at the SEC in Glasgow.

Drop in and say hello, we’ll be at 

Stand Number HIE49

in the HIEnergy Pavillion.

Join the conversation @ASLEEproject16

#AllEnergy18  #abplacetob

New algal expertise in the ENBIO team at Xanthella

Xanthella is delighted to welcome Dr. Sebastien Jubeau to their team as Research Director.

Sebastien has a master’s degree in plant chemistry and quality of plant products from Agrocampus Ouest (Rennes, France).  During his internship at Ifremer Nantes he discovered the world of microalgae, working on the production of exopolysaccharides by different species. Aware of the huge potential that microalgae represent, he decided to complete his master’s degree in biotechnology and bioprocess at Nantes University and studied the production of an exometabolite by a diatom during his internship at laboratory GEPEA (Saint-Nazaire, Nantes).  He then spent the next three years working on his PhD thesis on the biorefinery of the red microalga Porphyridium cruentum.  He successfully developed a process to valorise the whole biomass enabling production of different high value extracts.

After his thesis, he became project manager at AlgoSource Technologies where he was in charge of all projects concerning downstream processing and microalgae valorisation. During this time he was a project partner, work package leader and project leader in various projects, including FP7 BIOFAT project, the ADEME Algoraff project and the H2020 BBI Magnificent.  He has also worked with private companies to develop new microalgal based products for the nutraceutical, cosmetic and feed markets. He is the co-author of 11 scientific articles and 2 patents.

Sebastien is looking forward to getting involved in the innovative ASLEE and ENBIO projects at Xanthella.

 

Rural Innovation Award Success for ASLEE partner Xanthella Ltd

Xanthella Ltd are thrilled to announce their success as overall winners in the Rural Enterprise and Innovation category at the Scottish Rural Awards 2018. The Scottish Rural Awards are the ultimate benchmark of excellence in Scotland’s countryside – a celebration of the enterprise, innovation, dedication and community spirit of those who live in rural Scotland.

Along with over 400 guests and some of Scotland’s most outstanding rural businesses, representatives from Xanthella’s team attended the evening award ceremony and gala dinner on 22nd March at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.

Within the ASLEE project Xanthella have developed large scale photobioreactors (Pandora PBR™) that are able to respond to intermittent energy supply and the team is now working on the Energy for the Bioeconomy (ENBIO) project alongside ALIenergy and Woodland Renewables. ENBIO will further exploit the PBR technology and build an industrial scale array of PBRs on the Ardnamurchan Estate. The judges were impressed with the innovative nature of the ASLEE and ENBIO projects and how they integrate algal bioproduction with locally generated renewable electricity, helping to balance the grid, creating a new bioindustry and boosting the rural circular economy by utilising stranded resources.

 

Innovation is their motivation at the Scottish Rural Awards

Phos4You – Microalgae to recover phosphorus from small-scale wastewater treatment plants

Phosphorous (P) is an essential, indispensable, but non-renewable, nutrient used as a fertilizer for the growth of all crops. However, excessive use and potential discharge of P into the environment can lead to eutrophication, which results in algae blooms and dead zones. Therefore, recovering P from waste streams has become a major objective both to provide new sources of fertilisers and to prevent pollution.
The Phos4You project, funded by Interreg North-West Europe programme, specifically targets phosphorus recovery from municipal waste water treatment plants (WWTPs). Six different demonstrators of innovative P-recovery technologies will be constructed and operated in real life conditions for municipal sewage water.

Scotland is considered as 97% rural with around 1600 waste water treatment plants serving communities with less than 500 persons. In small waste water treatment plants such as these, nutrients are usually not recovered, potentially leading to eutrophication problems when the waste water is discharged. Recovering P from these decentralized small waste water treatment plants requires systems offering robustness, low maintenance and adapted to a high variability of P in wastewater.

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), as part of the Interreg North West Europe Phos4You project, is evaluating a microalgae phosphorous recovery technology as part of its focus on technologies adapted to remote, rural and island locations in Scotland. The extremophile microalgae Chlamydomonas acidophila, which grows at a pH of 2-3, is being tested in this context for its high phosphorus and nitrogen uptake rates (up to 90%) whilst operating at low light intensities.

The novel, internally illuminated Pandora PBR™ photobioreactor (PBR) designed, developed and built by ASLEE partner Xanthella, is being considered for scale-up testing of this nature-based technology.

GCU and Xanthella are in discussions about how algal production can be enhanced and how the species used in wastewater treatment can grow and recover nutrients in their manufactured systems.  

 

“Location, location, location” – sustainable algal production

Like Ardnamurchan and the West Coast of Scotland, Iceland’s pristine environment, pure water and abundance of renewable energy provides an ideal location for cultivation of algae.

A brand new, state-of-the-art facility for the production of the health supplement Astaxanthin has been established at Reykjanesbaer by Norwegian company Algalif.

Astaxanthin is a reddish pigment that belongs to a group of chemicals called carotenoids, which are reported to have multiple health benefits including antioxidant properties. The compound  occurs naturally in certain algae and creates the pink or red colour in salmon, trout, lobster, shrimp, and other seafood.

Algalif extract the powerful antioxidant from the algal species Haematococcus pluvialis, which is grown using 100%, locally available geothermal energy. 

Watch the company video for full details of their Astaxanthin  production.

All set at Ardnamurchan

Preparation for the installation of the Pandora PBR™ algal photobioreactor (PBR) array at Ardnamurchan is almost complete. The combined heat and power system (CHP), which will supply the electricity for the array, is installed and running. This uses woodchip produced on site from local, sustainable timber to fuel its three 75kW turbines. The installation has also created two new employment positions to run the CHP, evaporator, pelleting and woodchip plant.

The newly constructed “shed” for algal PBR array is also ready, with utilities including lighting and power in place. Once the PBRs are installed, day to day running of the bioproduction facility will be used for a time and motion study and to enable development of business models and application tools for the project.

 

The work at Ardnamurchan represents more than £1 million of investment into the circular bioeconomy in the local area. The estate management, local resources and new CHP system make Ardnamurchan an ideal test ground for the pilot scale deployment of the ENBIO project. Installation of the photobioreactors is estimated to begin in July and everyone is very excited to see the array up and running.
.

ASLEE success at Rushlight Awards 2017-18

ALIenergy is delighted to announce their success as winner of the Bioenergy category in the Rushlight Awards 2017-18 on behalf of the ASLEE project partnership (Algal Solutions for Local Energy Economy). 

The Rushlight Awards are a well-established event recognizing the cleantech stars and sustainability champions of today. They are an independent set of awards designed specifically to support and promote all the latest clean technologies, innovations, programmes, installations and initiatives for businesses and other organisations throughout UK, Ireland and internationally. The awards include various categories which are focused on reducing the environmental footprint of energy, transport, industry and everyday life.

The Awards party (presented by Eventure Media), which took place immediately after the Rushlight Show, at the Royal Geographical Society, London, on 25th January, was attended by organizations that are leading the way in clean technology innovation and sustainable solution deployment, investors, advisers, specialist and general media, trade associations and government departments. Mark Taylor, Deputy Director at BEIS and Head of Programme Delivery, Science and Innovation for Climate and Energy, and the guest of honour at the Awards Party, set out his past and the current activities of the department in the cleantech arena, before presenting the awards.

The Rushlight Show included key announcements by Claire Perry, Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, as well as major contributions from John Loughhead, Chief Scientific Adviser at BEIS; Rob Saunders, Head of Energy at Innovate UK; Julie Hill, Chair at WRAP and senior representatives from the Committee on Climate Change, Energy Systems Catapult, CBI, National Grid, Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the NHS. Now in its 9th year, the Show (sponsored by Innovate UK, BEIS, Flanders Investment & Trade, Carbon Limiting Technologies, Sage, Granted Consultancy, Venner Shipley and Smith & Williamson), attracted over 600 cleantech CEOs and entrepreneurs, investors and financiers, advisers, corporate customers and others involved in the sector.

For further information and a list of Rushlight Awards winners visit: www.rushlightevents.com/rushlight-awards