Research on algae based biofuels for the aerospace industry

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September 21, 2022

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Synthetic Biology

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Research on algae based biofuels for the aerospace industry

Algae-based biofuels have been identified as a promising alternative to traditional petroleum-based jet fuels. Key benefits of algae-based biofuels include their low emissions, high energy density, and ability to be produced from non-arable land. In recent years, there has been significant investment in research and development of algae-based biofuels for the aerospace industry, with significant progress being made in terms of yield, cost, and scalability.

A recently published study in the journal Nature Energy explored the potential of using algae as a feedstock for producing sustainable biofuels for the aviation industry. The researchers found that, compared to other biofuel crops, algae can produce up to fifteen times more fuel per unit area of land. In addition, algae grow quickly and consume little water, making them an attractive source of renewable energy. This study provides valuable insights into the potential for using algae as a sustainable source of biofuel and could pave the way for its widespread adoption in the aviation industry.

ExxonMobil has signed a joint development agreement with Viridos, a privately-held biotechnology company, to commercialise its low-carbon biofuels projects using algae.

With that said, various companies are rushing to develop the technology and here are some of these companies.

Honeywell

Honeywell announced that its refining process was used to successfully supply commercial flights with SAFs derived from microalgae. The algae is grown in bioreactors and the oil is extracted for use in the fuel production process.

SAFs are an attractive alternative to traditional jet fuels because they are derived from a renewable source, they produce fewer emissions, and they are biodegradable. Honeywell has been working on this technology for a number of years, and this is a significant milestone for the company. The successful demonstration of this technology is a major accomplishment and will pave the way for its commercialization.

Neste

Neste is a global leader in biofuel production, with a focus on sustainable and renewable fuels. The company has a long history of research and development into algae-based biofuels for the aerospace industry. In recent years, Neste has developed a new type of algae-based fuel that is suitable for use in commercial aircraft.

This new fuel is made from an algae strain that does not require freshwater or arable land to grow. It can be produced in closed bioreactor systems, making it a more sustainable and environmentally friendly option than traditional biofuels.

Neste plans to begin commercial production of this new fuel in 2025.

OrbitX

OrbitX, the Philippines first space start-up, is developing reusable rockets that will be fueled by liquid methane produced from biogas that uses algae as feedstock.

OrbitX’s ultimate goal is to make space exploration and travel more accessible to ordinary people, and they are well on their way to achieving this with their innovative technology.

Their rockets will be fueled by liquid methane produced from biogas that uses algae as feedstock. This means that the rockets will be environmentally friendly and sustainable, and it also opens up the possibility of using other types of biomass for fuel in the future.

OrbitX is currently in the process of constructing a testing and demonstration facility, which will be used to test and perfect their methane-based rocket technology.

Algenol Biofuels

Algenol is a company that is researching and developing algae based biofuels for the aerospace industry. They are the only company that is able to produce ethanol from algae without using any sunlight. Algenol has a research and development facility in Fort Myers, Florida, where it is working on a project to produce biofuels for the aerospace industry. The company has also formed partnerships with several companies, including Ford Motor Company and Emirates Airlines.

Solazyme

Algae has been around for billions of years and has been used to make oils and fuels for just as long. However, up until recently, it was an expensive and inefficient process. Algae-based oil is now being produced on a large scale, and Solazyme is one of the companies leading the charge.

Solazyme engineers designer algal cultures using DNA from different strains to maximize oil production and size and grows them in large fermentation vessels before harvesting their oil to be used by aerospace industry. What makes Solazyme different from other algae producers is their focus on oil yield and their ability to make oils that meet the demanding specifications of the aerospace industry.

Seambiotic

Seambiotic is a company that harvests microalgae for the production of sustainable biofuels and nutritional supplements. The company has recently announced a partnership with NASA to optimize the growth rates of its microalgae in order to produce algae based biofuels for the aerospace industry.

The partnership will allow Seambiotic to conduct research and development in the NASA Glenn Research Center’s state-of-the-art facilities. This will help Seambiotic to further improve the yield and growth rates of its microalgae, and to reduce the cost of producing algae based biofuels.

Solix Biofuels

Algae-based biofuels have the potential to completely revolutionize the way we power our aircraft. Not only are they a more sustainable option than traditional petroleum-based fuels, they also produce significantly lower emissions.

To date, Solix has successfully produced algae-based biofuels that meet or exceed the performance of traditional fuels. Our ongoing research and development efforts are focused on optimizing the production of algae-based biofuels for the aerospace industry.

Algae based biofuels as the future of the aerospace industry

Algae-based biofuels are being increasingly seen as the future of the aerospace industry. They have a number of advantages over other biofuels – they are non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, and produce significantly less greenhouse gas emissions. They also have a high energy density, meaning that they can be used to power a wide variety of vehicles, including jets and cars.

Algae-based biofuels are still in development, but it is thought that they could eventually replace traditional fuels in the aviation and automotive industries. This would not only reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, but would also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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