Microalgae Biodiesel and Algae Biodiesel Companies

Microalgae biodiesel was first tested as a possible alternate fuel source for fossil fuel during the gas scare in the 70s. Microalgae are small organisms that are usually composed of a single cell. They are found in moist surfaces or in different water forms. Microalgae grow fast and multiply at once.

Algae have been proven to be versatile. It can be used in aquaculture, as health food, and as a very essential ingredient in the production of biodiesel. Microalgae for fuel production are a very viable choice. Microalgae can be harvested regularly at a large amount. As a matter of fact, some species reproduce fast and are able to be harvested daily. Microalgae biofuel has biodegradable properties. They contain no sulfur and are non- toxic.

Algae need carbon dioxide in order to grow. Algae will have to be used to get carbon dioxide from the industrial factories and power plants and prevent it from mixing with the air. Biodiesel from vegetable oils are costly and can take month or years before they can be harvested, so algae biodiesel companies are in the process of culturing these organisms and meet the demand of US consumers.

Microalgae oil can be processed into biodiesel easily and in a convenient manner. Like oils that are derived from agricultural crops the difficulty does not come from the extraction but on the availability of the plants. Their similarity ends there. The time needed to cultivate microalgae is shorter than the time needed to cultivate agricultural plants. Coco oils, soya bean oils and canola oils have lower growth rate than microalgae.

Algae do not need large tracts of land or freshwater in order for it to be cultivated. Microalgae produce a higher yield of biodiesel than the amount of biofuel the vegetable oil can produce. The yield of algal oil from the same amount of acre on an annual basis is definitely greater in amount than the yield of vegetable oil from the same amount of land per year. Algae yield 20,000 gallons of biodiesel per year on a one acre area, whereas palm oil yields a mere 635 gallons of biodiesel per year on the same area. The ratio is 1 to 2,404 liters.

In the same manner, biodiesel from microalgae beats bioethanol also. As the name implies, bioethanol is the fuel produced by mixing biofuel with ethanol. This fuel is sold in London and India. Microalgae biodiesel is not produced commercially as of now but we’re getting there.

Below is a list of biodiesel companies that are into the process of developing a comprehensive program for microalgae biodiesel:

• Enhanced Biofuels and Technology in London

• GreenFuel Technology

• GreenShift

• Solazyme

• LiveFuels

• Valcent Products

• Aquaflow Bionomics Corporation

• Infinifuel Biodiesel

• Solix Biofuels

• Algoil

• PetroAlgae

• Aurora Biofuels.

These are just some of the companies that take interest in microalgae biodiesel production. The small organisms around us can do the big job of cleaning the air we breathe. It reflects the need for biofuels that can help us save the environment through these forms of biodiesel.