Scientists at Sheffield University have figured out a new way to separate particles of algae from the water that it grows in through the use of micro-bubbles. This isn’t a brand new idea – micro-bubbles have been used to purify water and separate out algae for a while now – what they’ve figured out is a method of doing it cheaply and with much lower energy requirements than previous techniques. This should reduce the costs for harvesting algae for producing food or biofuels – whether it’ll be enough of a reduction to make a difference is another question, but every little bit helps.
Tag Archives: algae
Corn and soybeans, the most common feed plants for livestock, are massive water and nutrient hogs. Livestock, moreover, are massive food and water hogs themselves. Cutting the inputs needed by the livestock industry is a critical step if we want to sustainably reach the 9 or 10 billion population point. Which is why advances in using algae for animal feed are so nice to see. Even better if it’s a method to use byproducts from the biofuel production process!
Joule, a biofuel company, announced that it had gotten $70 million in funding to build a large demonstration plant. Joule is working on algae-based biofuel production, using solar-panel-like facilities that expose the algae to as much sun as possible. Always good to see actual progress being made – we’ll see whether it proves to be scalable to industrial production levels.