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Algae-based omega-3 fatty acids for animals

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19.08.15

Two large animal nutrition companies are teaming up to develop algae-based omega-3 fatty acid products for animal nutrition, particularly aquaculture and pet food applications. Algae-based omega-3 fatty acids for animals 1 DSM Nutritional Products, headquartered in Switzerland, and Evonik Nutrition & Care, headquartered in Germany stated in a press release to meet the increasing demand for omega-3 fatty acids by harnessing naturally occurring marine algae using sustainable, biotechnological processes based on natural, non-marine resources.

Developing products together

Under the agreement, the companies will jointly work on the development of products and explore opportunities for commercialisation. In the press release, the companies write: "The competencies that DSM and Evonik bring to the development partnership complement each other: DSM has expertise in the cultivation of marine organisms and long-established biotechnology capabilities in development and operations, whilst Evonik's focus for decades has been on industrial amino acid biotechnology executing large-volume fermentation processes."

Natural and sustainable alternatives to fish oil

The envisioned algae-based omega-3 fatty acid products will be high value, natural and sustainable alternatives to fish oil, whose supply is finite. This will help the animal nutrition industry keep up with increasing demand without endangering fish stocks and will contribute to healthy and sustainable animal nutrition. Just like humans, animals also need their daily intake of essential, long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in their diet to ensure healthy growth. Until now, these fatty acids have been added to aquaculture feed almost exclusively from marine sources such as fish oil and fishmeal. By using algae, DSM and Evonik are looking to contribute to a more sustainable aquaculture industry. First results DSM and Evonik expect that in Q4 2015 they will be able to report the first results of the algae-based omega-3 fatty acid product development. Source: http://www.allaboutfeed.net/Nutrition/Research/2015/7/Algae-based-omega-3-fatty-acids-for-animals-2663738W/

Inside cutting-edge protein alternatives

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18.08.15

Algae protein alternatives

Alternatives to meat protein are nothing new. Rice, beans, nuts, and seeds have been around a long time, and soy began finding its way into the American diet a few decades ago. More recently, Americans have become increasingly familiar with protein from plants such as quinoa, chia, linseed, hemp, and peas. However, with the increasing need to feed more people and the intensified desire for more sustainable food options, what's next on the protein horizon? Algae and insects. Algae and seaweed: A vegan option Algae are plant-like, usually aquatic, organisms that range from the microscopic (microalgae) to large seaweeds (macroalgae). Growing algae uses far fewer resources than most traditional food crops. Algae are also vegan, contain no known allergens, and can add dietary fiber, healthy fats, and micronutrients to existing foods. Seaweed has been a staple of the Asian diet for centuries, and most Americans are familiar with it through its use for sushi. However, other seaweed uses have been limited, though companies such as SeaSnax and Annie Chun's are now offering seaweed snacks, and Ocean's Halo offers seaweed chips. Plus, Oregon State University researchers recently announced they had patented a new strain of a red seaweed called dulse that tastes like bacon. In the development of microalgae as food, Solazyme is a leader. Last year, the company released AlgaVia™ Whole Algal Flour, which can "replace or reduce dairy fat, egg yolks and oil in recipes," and Whole Algal Protein, which can be added to food products to increase protein and nutrient content. The gold-colored algae are 65% protein and also contain fatty acids, fiber and the carotenoid lutein. Solazyme believes consumers are ready for algae protein, with just a little education. Read more at: http://www.fooddive.com/news/inside-cutting-edge-protein-alternatives-algae-and-insects/402734/

New algae study ‘sheds light’ on importance of IBS light availability

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A new study has been published in Biotechnology for Biofuels by several university researchers from Europe and China that investigates the effect of initial-biomass-specific (IBS) light availability on batch microalgal triacylglycerides (TAGs) forNannochloropsis sp. cultivated in vertical and horizontal outdoor tubular reactors at different initial biomass concentrations for the TAG accumulation phase, during two distinct seasons (high and low light conditions). In the paper, titled “Microalgal triacylglycerides production in outdoor batch-operated tubular PBRs,” the researchers state that algae products have not been economical yet mainly because of low productivity, which is strictly dependent on IBS light availability—defined as the ratio of light impinging on reactor ground area divided by initial biomass concentration per ground area. The results showed that increasing IBS-light availability led to both a higher IBS-TAG production rate and TAG content at the end of the batch, whereas biomass yield on light decreased. As a result, an optimum IBS-light availability was determined for the TAG productivity obtained at the end of the batch and several guidelines could be established. In their conclusions, the authors write that “from this study, the great importance of IBS-light availability on TAG production can be deduced. Although maintaining high light availabilities in the reactor is key to reach high TAG contents at the end of the batch, considerable losses in TAG productivity were observed for the two reactors regardless of light condition, when not operated at optimal initial biomass concentrations (15 to 40 percent for vertical reactors and 30 to 60 percent for horizontal reactors).” For the complete study, and all of the technical data, results, methodology and conclusions, click here.   Sources: http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/blog/article/2015/07/new-algae-study-sheds-light-on-importance-of-ibs-light-availability http://www.biotechnologyforbiofuels.com/content/8/1/100

2015-Global Algae Biodiesel World

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08.08.15

global-algae-biodiesel-world-2015-500x500           2 Day Algae Fuel State of Art International Workshop OCTOBER 25-26, 2015, Jaipur, India Algae Biodiesel: Commercialization, Research & Business Platform Potential, Promise and Problems of microalgae for liquid transportation fuels Introducing the real world of Algae and its scientific commercialization for Development of Sustainable Non-Food Algae Oil Crop Projects, Programmers and Priorities to Feed Biodiesel Industry Worldwide. Driven by climate change concerns and the rising cost of petroleum-based energy, companies and government entities are developing the use of biofuels derived from algae to reduce carbon emissions from power plants and generate renewable transportation fuels. Algae is one of the most promising sources of biodiesel as it is biodegradable and can be produced using ocean and waste water without depleting fresh water resources. The Global Algae Biodiesel World 2015 examines the vast global market potential of biofuel from algae. It explores the technology, new research, and knowledge for developing this next-generation biofuel. This is a programmed where you shall study & learn the ALGAE System in totality from the top Algae scientists, experts and technologists CJP provides you a single platform, the best expertise to discuss and analyze the present and future dynamics of ALGAE from a technological and economic angle. THE OVERVIEW Biofuels have received considerable attention recently. This attention stems from many factors, some of which are recent developments in biofuels production technology, the quest for independence from foreign oil, reduction in emissions and greenhouse gases and an improvement in the local economy. Additionally, government supports in the form of research grants for technology development, tax incentives and mandates have made boifuels more attractive than before. Not only is energy consumption expected to expand significantly by 2030, but alteration of the fuel mix to reduce reliance on fossil fuels is considered vital to the reduction of greenhouse house gases, which means that the market for environmental assets, renewable energy and clean technologies is truly global. The combination of these factors presents an opportunity for the construction of a diverse, balanced, lucrative portfolio of Biodiesel Properties and carbon assets. THE OPPORTUNITY Algae are one of the most promising feedstocks for future bio-diesel production. The advantageous points about algae are their widespread availability, higher oil yields and pressure on cultivated land for production of biodiesel is reduced. Thus, algae will be the future of fuel. Algae as a fuel source are incredible. Some types of algae are made up of 50% oil, which can be made into biofuel more economically. Theoretically, algae can yield between 1,000 to 20,000 gallons of oil per acre, depending on the specific strain. That is enormous productivity as compared with agricultural based biofuels. Scalability is seen as its greatest advantages, as a number of key industry players are gearing up their operations to meet the opportunity. Algae biodiesel have the added advantage of utilizing nonfood-based feedstock, with the abilities to grow on no arable land and utilize a wide variety of water resources including wastewater and seawater. THE ISSUES CJP’s Algae Biodiesel World 2015 focuses on the entire algae production from lab to scale. Topics are carefully selected to cover the Biology, Engineering, Marketing and Financial aspects of algae commercialization. CJP is recognized as an important platform for productive exchanges among the Academic, Commercial and Investment communities Join us at this unique knowledge platform to share the latest information on:

  1. What opportunities do algae have to offer in the coming decades?
  2. Why is there such a high level of interest for algae at this point of time?
  3. What influence and position will algae take over ten years in the global economy?
PROGRAMME AGENDA
  • The Past, Present and Future of Algae Production
  • Commercializing Algae Biodiesel: Prospects and Priorities
  • Algae Growing, Harvesting and Extraction Technologies
  • Scaling Up Algae Production to Commercially Viable Levels
  • Optimizing Efficiency in Algae Harvesting and Dewatering
  • Identifying and Creating the Ideal Strain
  • Algae Carbon Values: Perspectives from The Carbon Market
  • Developing a low cost novel & High Productivity Enclosed Hybrid System for algae farming for oil
  • Demonstration of Algae Photo bioreactor and Biodiesel Making
CJP’s Algae Biodiesel World 2015 shall Highlights the updated research and technology on algae biodiesel from around the World Algae Experts will meet to reveal the latest developments in algae research, the newest harvesting, dewatering and modification techniques, and tell how the process can be scaled up. CJP’s Algae Biodiesel World 2015 will provide an excellent opportunity to the investors, entrepreneurs, biodiesel companies, renewable fuel experts, their associates and academia to share their experiences and knowledge on Algae Biodiesel. It will give them an excellent opportunity to know more about the latest research and developments in the fields of algae mass production systems, photo bioreactor technologies and other important areas of Algae Biodiesel Industry. The Programme would cover all the topics related to Algae Biodiesel Industry with live demo of algae harvesting Time is winding down and you will want to sign up early as we expect available seats to fill up fast! Please Pre-register here And further information, kindly contact:  Coordinator, Advanced Biofuel Center At algaebdiesel@gmail.com OR Call +91 9829423333 Source: http://www.eco-business.com/events/2015-global-algae-biodiesel-world/

Clean Power Plan brings new opportunities for US algae biomass cos

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04.08.15

ABO-Clean Power Plan 1

August 4 (SeeNews) - The Algae Biomass Organization (ABO) welcomed the US’ Clean Power Plan and especially the part of it related to the use of qualifying carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) technologies to cut emissions from power plants. The final version of the federal regulation says that states may allow Electric Generating Units (EGUs) affected by the Clean Power Plan to turn to CCU in order to meet the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission targets. ABO said this is “a huge win for the algae industry”. There are several US companies commercialising algae-based technologies that turn CO2 from power plants into fuels, feeds and other products. CCU will not only cut the cost of emissions reduction for both utilities and power consumers, but will also create a new revenue stream, the ABO noted. The Clean Power Plan, presented Monday, aims to reduce CO2 emissions in the US by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. Under the new regulation, each state has a separate target and is obliged to formulate its own plan to address greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. Source: http://renewables.seenews.com/news/clean-power-plan-brings-new-opportunities-for-us-algae-biomass-cos-487024

The Photosynthetic Life-Giving Pigments

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01.07.15

Algae Pigments 2

Cells Pictured on left column: Heomatococcus, Spirulina Pacifica, Spirulina Platensis, Dunaliella

Pigments are colorful chemical compounds that reflect only certain wavelengths of visible light. This makes them appear “colorful”. Flowers, coral and even animal and human skin contain pigments which give them their colors. More important than their reflection of light is the ability of pigments to absorb certain wavelengths. There are three principle classes of pigments: Chlorophyll is the most important chelate in nature. It is capable of channelling the energy of sunlight into chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is a greenish pigment that contains a porphyrin ring. This is a stable ring-shaped molecule around which electrons are free to migrate. Because the electrons move freely, the ring has the potential to gain or lose electrons easily, and thus the potential to provide energized electrons to other molecules. This is the fundamental process by which chlorophyll “captures” the energy of sunlight. Carotenoids are usually red, orange, or yellow pigments, and include the familiar compound carotene, which gives carrots their orange color. These compounds are composed of two small six-carbon rings connected by a “chain” of carbon atoms. As a result, they do not dissolve in water and must be attached to membranes within the cell. Carotenoids cannot transfer sunlight energy directly to the photosynthetic pathway, but must pass their absorbed energy to chlorophyll. For this reason, they are called accessory pigments. One very visible accessory pigment is fucoxanthin: the brown pigment that colors kelps and other brown algae as well as the diatoms. Phycobilins are water-soluble pigments and are therefore found in the cytoplasm or in the stroma of the chloroplast. They occur only in cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and rhodophyta (red algae). Phycobilins are useful to the organisms that use them for soaking up light energy. Both phycocyanin and phycoerythrin fluoresce at a particular wavelength. That is, when they are exposed to strong light, they absorb the light energy, and release it by emitting light of a very narrow range of wavelengths. These pigments chemically bond to antibodies and as such, have been found to prevent tumorogenesis. Because they interact with light to absorb only certain wavelengths, pigments are useful to plants and other autotrophs – organisms which make their own food using photosynthesis. In plants, algae and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), pigments are the means by which the energy of sunlight is captured for photosynthesis. However, since each pigment reacts with only a narrow range of the spectrum, there is usually a need to produce several kinds of pigments, each of a different color, to capture more of the sun’s energy. Algae Pigments 3 photosynthesis-300x225   Read more at: http://themagicisbac.com/book/the-photosynthetic-life-giving-pigment-content-of-bac/  

Natural Products from Marine Organisms

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20.05.15

Marine dinoflagellates are a diverse group of algae. These microalgae are perhaps most well recognized via articles in the popular press related 'harmful algal blooms', but there are many dinoflagellates that do not produce these harmful or toxic blooms.  All dinoflagellates however share the trait of being 'mesokaryotic' - that means their nucleus and nucleus division pattern lies somewhere between that of a prokaryote and a eukaryote. In addition, the dinoflagellate genome is large up to 100x that of the human genome. This large genome harbors a great deal of information, and thus dinoflagellates are an interesting group of algae to explore in terms of potential for high value natural products.  They produce characteristic sterols, some of which are well known for their medicinal qualities (e.g., beta-sitosterol).  The toxins they produce, as well as other sterols have been shown to have strong anti-fungal properties.  This antifungal activity appears to derive from the disruption of cell membranes which increases permeability and thus compromises the fungal cell - a significant change from the 'chemical death' compounds previously used as antifungals. Continued advances in high throughput screening coupled with diverse living libraries of marine microbial plankton collections present a truly unique opportunity to advance our diverse  'catalog' of bioactive compounds, beyond where we've been able to go through screening more common marine sources such as sponges and macroalgae. fmars-01-00012-g001                   Figure 1. Natural products from marine organisms with significant activity against fungal strains of health and economic relevance. They can be found in marine-derived bacteria (A–Gageosatins C, a linear lipopeptide), fungi (B–Fusarielin E, a fusaricidin derivative), dinoflagellates (C–Goniodomin A, a polyether macrolide compound), red alga (D–Aldehyde derivative (E)-2-{(E) tridec-2-en-2-yl} heptadec-2-enal), sponge (E–Curcuphenol and Curcudiol), sea cucumbers (F–Holothurin B, a triterpenic glycoside), macroalga (G–Cycloartan-3,23,29-triol 3,29-disodium sulfate; a sulfate-conjugated Triterpenoid) and fungal strains within other species (H–diketopiperazine derivative produced by fungal M-3 strains within phylumAscomycota, isolated from marine red algae Porphyra yezoensis) among others. You can read the complete article at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fmars.2014.00012/full

Bioluminescence: Study uses algal cells to ‘shed light’ on sensing mechanical forces

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15.05.15

Algae are known to congregate and bloom in massive numbers, covering patches of the ocean in thick red and brown blotches. Some of these “red tide” events create dazzling nighttime light shows of blue-green bioluminescence resulting from the force generated by breaking waves. While many mysteries remain on how such red tide blooms emerge, marine biologists are now making progress in decoding the mechanisms that trigger the effect of bioluminescence. Bioluminescense Algae 1 Marine biologist Michael Latz from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego has been studying bioluminescence for more than 30 years and is now zeroing in on the forces that flick the “on” switch for bioluminescencent flashes in single-celled algae known as dinoflagellates. Dinoflagellates employ bioluminescence as a defense mechanism. They use the bright flash to ward off potential predators as well as call attention to the predators of their predators as a type of alarm. Dinoflagellates are equipped with an extremely fast response to stimuli, with bioluminescence produced only 15 milliseconds after stimulation. In a study recently featured on the cover and blog of Biophysical Journal, Latz and former Scripps postdoctoral researcher Benoit Tesson employed a state-of-the-art laboratory instrument called an atomic force microscope to study the force sensitivity of dinoflagellates with unprecedented resolution. They set out to measure the exact forces that trigger light production inside dinoflagellate cells, setting the specifications for the atomic force microscope, in which a calibrated lever was used to apply precisely controlled forces on individual dinoflagellate cells. Such diligence paid off, as the results identified the force conditions that were required to trigger the light. Cells responded to a minimum force of seven micronewtons, which, according to U.S. Navy physicist Jim Rohr, who is familiar with the study, is equivalent to the “weight of an ant resting on your skin.” natureslight_web-Tesson and Latz Bioluminescence             Most interesting, the researchers say, was that if the same level of force was applied slowly, there was no response. The difference was due to the mechanical properties of the cells. According to a model they developed, at low stimulation speed the resulting energy was dissipated while at high speed energy was able to build up. “It is like the difference between pushing and punching; for the same applied force, at high speeds a deformable material acts stiffer and the shock is stronger,” said Tesson. The results will contribute to the use of dinoflagellate bioluminescence as a tool in engineering and oceanography to visualize flows that are difficult to study otherwise. As Leonardo da Vinci used grass seeds to observe water flow more than 500 years ago, scientists today use bioluminescence to naturally “light up” flow forces associated with jet turbulence, breaking waves, and the swimming movements of dolphins. Knowing the precise trigger point of light emission will aid studies in which bioluminescence is used to study flow forces. “Cells are sophicated integrators of the forces in their environment,” said Latz. “With these results we further our understanding of how the structural properties of these organisms affect their force sensitivity, and how force sensing evolved, because the system appears to have conserved elements that are used in force sensing by higher organisms, including humans.” So the next time you see how the red tide sparkles at night, Latz says, you can think of the algae as little force-sensing machines. The U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative, National Science Foundation, and UC San Diego Academic Senate funded the research. Use of the atomic force microscope was provided by Scripps Oceanography marine biologist Mark Hildebrand.   Sources: http://news.algaeworld.org/2015/05/the-force-behind-bioluminescence-study-uses-algal-cells-to-shed-light-on-sensing-mechanical-forces/ http://www.cell.com/biophysj/abstract/S0006-3495(15)00169-1  

Plasticity: A Unique Event Focusing on Upstream Solutions to the Plastic Pollution Issue

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11.05.15

Solaplast will be represented this year at the Plasticity Forum in Portugal to discuss how bioplastic solutions can make a positive impact on our environment. IMG_3595 IMG_3596 IMG_3597 IMG_3598

From Plastic Pollution to an Algae Solution

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07.04.15

The University of Georgia recently reported on research results that estimates the amount of plastic pollution that is generated each year. “Their study, reported in the Feb. 13 edition of the journal Science, found between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic entered the ocean in 2010 from people living within 50 kilometers of the coastline. That year, a total of 275 million metric tons of plastic waste was generated in those 192 coastal countries.” “Eight million metric tons is the equivalent to finding five grocery bags full of plastic on every foot of coastline in the 192 countries we examined.” UGA-infographic-plastic waste "With the mass increase in plastic production, the idea that waste can be contained in a few-acre landfill or dealt with later is no longer viable. That was the mindset before the onslaught of plastic, when most people piled their waste—glass, food scraps, broken pottery—on a corner of their land or burned or buried it. Now, the average American generates about 5 pounds of trash per day with 13 percent of that being plastic." ““We’re being overwhelmed by our waste,” she said. “But our framework allows us to also examine mitigation strategies like improving global solid waste management and reducing plastic in the waste stream. Potential solutions will need to coordinate local and global efforts.”(1) A viable solution: Algix’s Bioplastics from Algae Solaplast, a subsidiary of ALGIX, harnesses the potential of algae to make bio-plastics for the replacement of traditional petroleum-based plastics and for the reduction of biodegradable plastic costs. Our process includes innovations that reduce the environmental impact of plastic use and correct existing impacts from other sources. To our customers,  Solaplast can offer tremendous improvements to Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and can allow sustainability objectives to be reached. Solaplast’s products will certainly improve a customer’s green image and will also generate buzz around their products, garnering extra recognition within the plastics sector and from their consumers at the register. Most importantly, Solaplast can offer all of these environmental benefits while being cost competitive in the market place. Algix resin 2022 website picture Solaplast’s innovative product solutions revolutionize the polymer space by providing bio-based sustainable products that do not compete with food production and help to reduce negative environmental impact. This allows Solaplast to provide products that positively impacts of traditional bio-plastics (including carbon sequestration, smaller ecological footprints, reduced petroleum dependence, and improved end of life options) without impacting food pricing or food supplies. Solaplast also provides customers a number of application based cost reductions and technical benefits. The potential for Solaplast resin use exists for a number of applications, and here at Solaplast we are always interested in helping our customers meet their sustainability goals through our custom formulating services. Solaplast also offers toll compounding to pioneering companies who would like to leverage our extensive technical background and specially modified extrusion capabilities to make their product innovations come to life.   Resources: 1. http://ugaresearch.uga.edu/research-news/8-million-metric-tones-of-plastic-enter-the-oceans-every-year-study/#sthash.qeeWO3gR.dpuf 2. http://algix.com/