Sunday, November 30, 2008

Algae discussion forums
This is a forum is for the purpose of algal research collaboration and discussion.
You may post and answer questions, exchange tips, meet other phycologists, etc..
If interested, please visit

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Silica and Diatom Algae

Diatoms silica & industry: harnessing the biological methods of diatoms to make silica could offer a cheaper and less energy-intensive route to make silica. Harvey Black examines the advantages.
Article from: Chemistry and Industry Article date: December 1, 2003
Black, Harvey
* Understanding the way diatoms make silica could benefit industrial process
* In the past four years, two proteins in the manufacture of silica have been isolated
* In diatoms, sugars surrounding proteins key to assembly of silica structures
* Diatom genome project under way in US, sponsored by US Department of Energy
The lowly diatom may be the basis for major advances in manufacturing, These algae, of which there are between 10 000 to 100 000 species, form silica cell walls (frustules) of intricately patterned silica at ambient temperatures.
Silica is an important industrial product used in everyday items from toothpaste, as abrasives, ...

Manganese and Diatom Algae

Ruth Patrick, Bowman Crum, and John Coles

Diatoms are usually the major component of the algal flora in many streams, although green and blue-green algae may be present. These experiments were designed to determine if high temperature or a shift in the chemical composition of the water might bring about a dominance of blue-green algae and/or green algae rather than a dominance of diatoms in the algal flora.

The results of these experiments indicate that an average temperature of 34° to 38°C results in a shift of dominance in the algal flora from diatoms to blue-green algae. Furthermore, a blue-green and green algal flora of species typically found in organically polluted water in favored if the manganese content is a few parts per billion. If the manganese content averaged 0.02-0.043 mg/liter in the natural stream to 0.04-0.28 mg/liter in the recycled water experiment, a diatom flora remained dominant.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Use of Algae in Wastewater Treatment

Another technology that uses Green Algae in Wastewater Treatment.

Product Development History. In 1995 Mr. Christopher Limcaco, began development of the algaewheel® technology because of his passion for aquatic life. His mission was to develop a filtration system that would allow him to completely recreate a natural environment within his aquarium. The system that was developed proved tremendously effective in achieving a naturally balanced eco-environment and the aquatic life within the aquarium thrived. Mr. Limcaco patented the technology and developed the manufacturing and shipping processes for the commercial distribution of algaewheel treatment systems through a company called Aquatic Engineers, Inc. In 2003 this technology was licensed to a firm now known as Aquariums By Design, and this company continues to provide service for hobby applications in the marine and tropical fish industry.

How it WorksThe technology was initially developed for use as an aquatic life support system in mariculture and aquaculture systems. The advantage of the algaewheel is in its name; it provides the proper environment for algal growth. Wave surging and light pulsing are basic environmental conditions required for algae growth and these are provided through the patented design. The wheel is designed to be significantly buoyant in water, requires no mechanical drive mechanism, and is rotated using a constant air flow. Each wheel is supported in water using a modular plastic grid system. The wheel and all components are made of UV stabilized reprocessed plastics, are lightweight, modular, easily assembled in the field, and corrosion proof.


Why use Green Algae when Diatoms can do a better job?

Symbiotic algal bacterial wastewater treatment

Interesting study of use of Alage in Wastewater Treatment.
Water Science & Technology Vol 55 No 11 pp 165–171 © IWA Publishing 2007 doi:10.2166/wst.2007.351

Symbiotic algal bacterial wastewater treatment: effect of food to microorganism ratio and hydraulic retention time on the process performance
M. Medina and U. NeisInstitute of Wastewater Management and Water Protection, University of Technology Hamburg Harburg, FSP 1-02, D-21071 , Hamburg, Germany (E-mail:
Algal incorporation into the biomass is important in an innovative wastewater treatment that exploits the symbiosis between bacterial activated sludge and microalgae (Chlorella vulgaris sp. Hamburg). It allows a good and easy algae separation by means of clarification. The effect of process parameters food to microorganisms ratio (F/M) and hydraulic retention time (HRT) on the process performance, evaluated by settleability, microalgae incorporation to biomass and nutrient removal, was studied. HRT hinted at a significant influence in the growth rate of algae, while F/M turned out to be important for stability when algae are incorporated into the biomass. This parameter also affects the total nitrogen removal of the treatment. Stable flocs with incorporated algae and supernatants with low free swimming algae concentrations were obtained at high HRT and low F/M values.
Keywords: Chlorella vulgaris; F/M (food to microorganism) ratio; hydraulic retention time; symbiotic algal bacterial wastewater treatment; symbiotic biomass

Thursday, November 27, 2008

India - Green Idea Partner

Declare India as the Green Idea Lab Partner
The U.S. can profit a lot by tapping on the innovation potential of the Indians. India is emerging as an ideas hub. India must not remain as the low cost outsourcing destination of the world. Instead, making it the green idea lab partner will establish a platform to share alternate technology solutions to combat global warming.
- Krish Murali Eswar (Green Ideas Facilitator), Bangalore, India Nov 26 @ 09:55AM PST

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Plankton News

Plankton Bloom Surrounds Chatham Islands

Plankton Found in 100-Million-Year-Old Amber
Scientists have discovered for the first time a menagerie of perfectly intact marine microorganisms trapped in tree resin at least 100 million years ago, according to a new study.

Tiny Plankton Contribute to Continental Crackups
The skeletons of microscopic plankton that flourished billions of years ago may be tearing continents apart, according to a researcher who thinks that rocks built from plankton skeletons – known as black shale – form huge weak areas in Earth's crust.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sanitation and Corporate Social Responsibility
Home / CSR

HNB launches safe drinking water and sanitation programme in Mannar
With latest research highlighting bowel diseases as one of the most critical health issues in the ountry, HNB embarked on an ambitious safe drinking water and sanitation programme that saw its very first project being completed in Mannar. The village of Siruthopu in Mannar recently received access to a proper source of safe-drinking water when HNB stepped in, distinguishing themselves yet again as a bank whose interests go beyond business. A well was built and a tank set up along with six taps in a central area of the village, providing the much-needed solution to dire water and sanitation problems faced by the people in the village.
The people of Siruthopu had next to nothing to come back to, but received a somewhat solace when a NGO pitched in to build houses for them. Safe drinking water and sanitation however remained a burning problem as their only source of water came from a bowser that found its way to the town daily to fill a single plastic tank out of which over 75 families received water. That water too was not safe for drinking and was the cause of many cases of bowel and other diseases, and sickness became an everyday experience for the people of this area.
The plight of the people living in Siruthopu was brought to the Bank’s notice by HNB’s Mannar Branch Manager and steps were immediately taken to determine what the Bank could do for the people. The 15th of November saw the grateful locality of over 75 families receiving a steady mode of clean water that would be sufficient for all. “Water and sanitation is as important as a roof over your head, maybe more so. The project in Mannar is the first of a series of similar projects that will be instigated in various needy areas of the country,” said Mr. Rajendra Theagarajah, Managing Director Hatton National Bank.
Similar projects to provide safe drinking water and sanitation will be taken up in Anuradhapura, Puttalam Chunnakam and Kataragama in the immediate future. This project was initiated with the guidance of Mr. J. R. P. M. Paiva- Deputy General Manager – HR & Administration who is heading the CSR initiatives of the bank. Providing safe drinking water and sanitation is a key millennium goal identified by the United Nations Organization.

Extract from Ashok Leyland Ltd CSR Report 2005 – 06

• During the heavy downpours in end-2005, the ponds filled up and overflowed. After the rains, the living organisms in the ponds, including the fish, were found to be dying in large numbers.
Extensive analysis of the reasons was carried out in coordination with a few Governmental agencies. The root cause was found to be an increase in the ‘Biological Oxygen’ demand due to sudden changes in atmospheric conditions accompanying the downpours - a serious threat to the living organisms in the water.
• As a solution, a chemical called Nualgi was used to increase the Oxygen content in the water and the problem was solved.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Australian initiatives in biofuels.

Australian initiatives in biofuels.

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE)
Chief Investigators:
Mr Martin Thomas and Dr John Wright

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Obama's Environment policy

Obama : Water issues seen as likely priorities

Greenwire -- US EPA’s efforts to improve water-treatment infrastructure, regulate emerging contaminants and protect wetlands are likely to grow in an Obama administration that has vowed to make climate change a top priority.EPA’s outgoing water administrator, Benjamin Grumbles, predicted that mitigating climate change’s impact on water supplies will be a priority for the Obama administration. “Water is at the heart of the climate change debate,” Grumbles said in an interview. “It is a core part of both the cause and the effects of climate change.”President-elect Barack Obama promised during the campaign to increase federal funding for water-treatment facilities and support initiatives aimed at reducing stormwater runoff. And prospects for a greater federal investment in water infrastructure have risen with concerns about the nation’s flagging economy. Democrats have called for using water projects and other infrastructure work as an economic stimulus.The Bush White House recently threatened to veto House plans for an economic recovery package funding infrastructure projects, potentially punting the issue to Obama and the 111th Congress. Obama said last week that passage of a $60 billion to $100 billion economic stimulus package would be a top priority following his inauguration if President Bush and lawmakers do not come to an agreement in the lame-duck session (E&ENews PM, Nov. 7).Federal funding for infrastructure has declined 70 percent over the last two decades, leaving much of the nation’s water and transportation infrastructure in desperate need of cash for maintenance, water-industry representatives say.“We hope that the package will contain upwards of $10 billion for wastewater infrastructure,” said Susan Bruninga, spokeswoman for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. “These are critical needs our communities have waiting. We’re ready to stick the shovels in the ground. These are projects that are necessary for environmental protection and public health.”

Cost of Nitrogen and Phosphorous pollution

Phosphorous Pollution Costs US $4.3B Annually

MANHATTAN, KS -- Pollution by phosphorous and nitrogen isn't just bad for lakes, streams and other bodies of fresh water. According to researchers at Kansas State University, it's also bad for Americans' pocketbooks.Freshwater pollution impacts individuals on a level as basic as how much they spend on bottled water, said Walter Dodds, professor of biology at K-State. If you worry about what's in the tap water, you might be shelling out more money for the bottled variety, he said.If your municipal water plant has to spend more money to treat the water coming through your tap, your water bills will increase. If you own a house on a lake that is becoming increasingly polluted, your property values likely may drop. If that lake is a recreation destination, your local economy could take a hit, too."Monetary damages put environmental problems in terms that make policymakers and the public take notice," Dodds said.He and the K-State researchers looked at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data on nitrogen and phosphorous levels in bodies of water throughout the country. Nitrogen and phosphorous are nutrients that are applied to plants as nutrients.Dodds said that the majority of this type of pollution is from nonpoint sources --that is it's not flowing into a lake or stream like sewage outflow coming from one pipe. Rather, the nitrogen and phosphorous are reaching the water from various points, such as, for example, runoff from row crop agriculture across the surrounding countryside.The researchers calculated the money lost from that pollution by looking at factors like decreasing lakefront property values, the cost of treating drinking water and the revenue lost when fewer people take part in recreational activities like fishing or boating.The researchers found that freshwater pollution by phosphorous and nitrogen costs government agencies, drinking water facilities and individual Americans at least $4.3 billion annually. Of that, they calculated that $44 million a year is spent just protecting aquatic species from nutrient pollution."We are providing underestimates," Dodds said. "Although our accounting of the degree of nutrient pollution in the nation is fairly accurate, the true costs of pollution are probably much greater than $4.3 billion."Dodds said he anticipates the research being used by policymakers because it documents the extent of the nutrient pollution problem in the United States and one facet of why it matters."Putting environmental problems in terms of dollars allows people to account for the actual costs of pollution," Dodds said.Web site:

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Specie of algae

A very interesting post on 'Oil from algae' message board.

Posted by: "Tony Rusi"

Re: [oil_from_algae] A pond cleaning bussiness?
Dr. Kertz says 65,000 species have been identified, and a million are left to be identified. That is an estimate of over 60%. My friend Randy Smith told me that you need a 400x microscope to look at these things. Does anyone know of an online database of algae species?

But this begs the question, what species has that lofty 70% oil composition? And what group of species is Dr. Kertz using, and in what percentages? And what is his water to algae ratio? The recent photos look like they have a much lower algae density than the pictures from two years ago. Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace. ~Robert Hutchings GoddardThe greatest obstacle to progress in science is the illusion of knowledge, the illusion that we know what's going on when we really don't. ~Prof. Mike Disney

Saturday, November 15, 2008

List of Biodiesel from Algae companies

Greenfuels -

XL Renewables -

Solazyme -

Solix -

A2BE -

Algal Pyramid -

Algenol Biofuels -

Aquaflow Bionomics -

Aurora BioFuels -


Algal Fuels aka Bio King -

Varicon Aqua – greenhouse variant -

Canadian Pacific Algae -

Diversified Energy Corporation - -

Genifuel -

Global Green Solutions Inc -

Green Star Products -

Bioprodukte-Steinberg -

Infinia BioDiesel -

International Energy Inc. -
Inventure Chemicals -

Bodega Algae LLC -

Live Fuels Inc. -

MBD BioDiesel -

Petro Sun Inc. -

Philadelphia Renewable Energy - Sapphire Energy -

SeamBiotic -

Sunrise Ridge Algae -

Sunx Energy Algae Oil Research Lab -

T-CO Alternative Fuels, LLC. -

Algepower Algae -

Biomaxx Systems Inc -

PetroAlgae -

List compiled by

Clint LeRoy

Sustainable Energy Consultant

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nualgi - Green Algae for Biodiesel Day 5

Day 5 both tanks are now equally green with algae.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nualgi - Green Algae for Biodiesel Day 4

Yesterday I added 5 ml of Nualgi in the tank on the left and today its also as green as the tank on the right.
Pl see yesterday's photo in the post below.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Nualgi - Green Algae for Biodiesel Day 3

I have used Nualgi to grow Green Algae in a small tank.
The difference in growth rates is quite remarkable. Please see the photo.
I did not use Nualgi in the tank on the left and there is no growth visible after 3 days. The brown colour is due to the dung used as nutrient source.
The tank on right is very green. Just 10 ml of Nualgi has been used in it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

History of Petroleum

This site has many videos on the history of Petroleum.