Macroalgae making waves in the Bay of Fundy

February, 10 / 2017

Dulse, a form of red algae that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, is often eaten as a healthy chewy snack: it is high in iron and contains multiple micro-nutrients. Canadian newspaper Localxpress interviewed Dulse purchaser Gerry Flagg about the current state of the Dulse industry. Flagg mentioned that on an average morning, his crew picks about 50 pounds of Dulse off the rocks. He then sells the seaweed on the mainland for $12 a pound.

Business is booming in the Bay of Fundy as Flagg also mentions “we’re not looking for new markets because we can’t fill the markets we have now.” World seaweed production currently stands at 27.3 million tonnes. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2016 report, world seaweed production has grown 8% per year for the past decade. One would only hope for the trend to continue. The full article can be read here.

ABO Present Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA) with ‘Champion of Algae’ Awards

February, 1 / 2017

ABO is pleased to announce that it has presented Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA) each with a Champion of Algae Award, the group’s highest recognition for outstanding service to algae research, technology and product development.

“Sheldon Whitehouse and Scott Peters have worked tirelessly to advance new algae technologies that will maintain the economic competitiveness of the United States, and bring jobs to rural and urban areas alike.” said Matt Carr, ABO’s executive director. “We look forward to working with them in the future, and many others on both sides of the aisle that are discovering how an advanced algae industry can bring so many benefits to the United States.” 

Congressman Peters was recognized for his dedication to spreading the word about algae’s potential for the economy and the environment, as well as his support for policies that can jumpstart innovation in the sector. Senator Whitehouse has been a strong supporter of the algae industry in Rhode Island as well as an architect of policies that can position algae cultivation to become a national engine for economic growth, while also protecting the environment and public health. 

Support of algae is of utmost importance now more than ever. We salute our newly minted Champions of Algae and thank them for all that they have done for the industry. 


Call for Abstracts: 2017 Algae Biomass Summit

January, 30 / 2017
The Algae Biomass Organization is now accepting abstracts for speaking and poster opportunities at the 2017 Algae Biomass Summit, to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 29-November 1, 2017. 

Submit by March 15, 2017 to receive priority review!

Presentations on algae research and commercialization milestones across all topics are welcome: food, feed, nutrition, carbon utilization, wastewater treatment, energy, and more!

Algae in the News, January 2017

January, 25 / 2017

A round-up of recent news items featuring algae. 

Zico and NutriQuest in algae feed ingredient R&D venture
December 20, 2017, FeedNavigatory

Growing algae for food and biofuel could cut greenhouse emissions
January, 6, 2017, Environmental Research Web

Species diversity reduces chances of crop failure in algal biofuel systems
January 9, 2017, University of Michigan

Biofuel matchmaker: Finding the perfect algae for renewable energy
January 13, 2017,

PNNL Leads $6 Million Algae DISCOVR Project to Streamline Species Selection
January 16, 2017, Biofuels Digest

Hawaii 5-Oleo: The Digest’s Multi-Slide Guide to Cellana’s Kona-based Marine Microalgae System
January 17, 2017, Biofuels Digest

Synthetic Genomics and ExxonMobil Renew Agreement
January 19, 2017, Hydrocarbon Engineering

Vegan ‘Egg’ Made From Algae Could Fulfill Your Wildest Baking Dreams
January 25, 2017, Huffington Post

Save the Date: 2017 Algae Biomass Summit

January, 17 / 2017

Experience the largest algae conference in the world!

The 2017 Algae Biomass Summit will be here before you know it! This year the largest gathering of algae professionals will be in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 29 – November 1, 2017. 

Some important dates to keep in mind: 

  • Call for Abstracts Opens: January 24
  • Early Bird Pricing for Exhibit Booths Expires: January 31
  • First Priority Deadline for Abstract Submissions: March 15
  • Online Registration Opens: May 9

ABO Asks EPA to Support the Future of Algae Innovation

January, 17 / 2017

ABO recently submitted comments on the EPA’s Draft Algae Guidance for the Preparation of Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Biotechnology Submissions. ABO’s comments emphasize the potential of algae to have a profound impact on how we produce food and feed, fuel, chemicals and other products, as well as its safe history and low ecological risk.

Algae offer a highly sustainable platform for the production of environmentally-friendly alternatives to fossil-derived transportation fuels, fertilizers and toxic chemicals; a new source of protein, oils and other nutritional components that protect fragile fish stocks and avoid deforestation while enhancing global food security; therapeutic proteins and other human and animal health solutions; and a range of other important applications.

To realize all of these benefits it is important to encourage further technological development in the algae space. Toward that end ABO supports the publication of guidance on the preparation of TSCA biotechnology submissions for algae as a means to increase the predictability, transparency and public confidence in algae biotechnology regulation.

ABO’s comments offer several recommendations to ensure that the EPA’s approach does not unduly burden applications, inhibit innovation, stigmatize new technologies or create trade barriers.

Read the full comments here.

ABO Members Awarded DOE Funds to Develop Biorefineries

January, 2 / 2017

Congratulations to ABO members LanzaTech and Global Algae Innovations for being selected by the Department of Energy for funds to develop pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries in the United States! 

DOE Logo Flatten-2On December 28th, 2016, the DOE announced six projects for up to $12.8 million in funding to further develop the technologies and facilities required for the manufacture of advanced or cellulosic biofuels, byproducts, or refinery-compatible intermediates. Each project will be required to share 50% of the costs, and will be evaluated in two phases. Phase 1 projects were announced on the 28th, and Phase 2 projects (scheduled to be announced in 2018) could receive additional funding of up to $15 million for pilot-scale facilities or $45 million for demonstration-scale facilities.   

LanzaTech, Inc. was awarded up to $4 million in the demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery category, and plans to operate a biorefinery that will use industrial waste gases to produce 3 million gallons per year of low-carbon jet and diesel fuels. LanzaTech and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have already successfully demonstrated their renewable jet fuel production technology.

Global Algae Innovations was selected in the pilot-scale integrated biorefinery category, with an award of up to $1.2 million. The company has developed technologies that vastly improve on algae production processes, and seeks to design a pilot-scale algae biofuel facility with open pond cultivation and energy-efficient algae harvesting processes. 

More information is available on DOE’s website. 

Holiday Talking Points

December, 21 / 2016
This holiday season, let’s make algae the hot topic:
Avoid the partisan political talk, algae is one thing everybody can support. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, Greens and everyone in between has supported developing algae technologies that can give us a new source of sustainable products, jobs and a better environment. Many algae companies are looking for ways to bring new jobs to rural America by turning the CO2 from power plants into revenue. Others are freeing up crop land by growing algae-based feed, or using algae to clean wastewater from cities and agricultural operations.
A funny thing happened on the way to fuel…. Algae-based fuels are an exciting focus for ABO members, but even as fossil fuel prices dropped many are taking advantage of algae’s incredible potential in other markets. It turns out the same technologies that can cultivate algae for fuel have also made it easier to produce algae-derived food and feed, plastics and chemicals. Companies around the world are taking advantage of the revenue potential, and providing the more sustainable products that consumers are demanding.
Who says you can’t reverse global warming? Some say we are past the point of no return when it comes to climate change, others say that we can still get our CO2 emissions down to manageable levels. Point your friends to this study in Carbon Balance and Management that calculates how farming algae for animal feed, combined with carbon capture and sequestration, could actually lead to a reduction in global CO2 concentrations! Even without CCS, algae could limit global temperature change by as much as 0.7° C by the year 2100. That would take a big bite out of the climate change problem.
Seaweed is algae too! Who wants some ice cream? Seaweed derivatives have been used in ice cream and other products for decades, but ABO members are exploring new uses for these macroalgae as well. One researcher discovered a seaweed that tastes like bacon, while others are planning to grow macroalgae in the open ocean for fuels, advanced food and other applications. 
Finally, ask your colleagues to get in involved by joining the Algae Biomass Organization!Everybody in the algae industry knows ABO, and the leaders of the industry are ABO’s members. We’d love to have you be part of this incredible movement. 

Macroalgae Funding from ARPA-E

December, 19 / 2016

The Department of Energy’s ARPA-E has announced up to $25 million in funding for the MacroAlgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER) program. 

The program will focus on developing advanced cultivation technologies that enable the cost and energy efficient production of macroalgal biomass in the ocean at a scale suitable as feedstock for the production of fuels and chemicals.

The deadline to submit a Concept Paper for MARINER is 5 p.m. ET on February 14, 2017.  

Additional information, including the full FOA and how to find project teaming partners, is available on ARPA-E’s online application portal.


DOE Announces Announces $8 Million to Develop Algae-Based Biofuels

December, 15 / 2016

DOE Logo Flatten-2The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE’s) Bioenergy Technologies Office announced a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) of up to $8 million, subject to appropriations, for innovative technologies and approaches to help advance bioenergy and bioproducts from algae. The FOA is meant to help develop productivity-enhancing algal biology technologies that can enable doubling the current state of technology for seasonal algal biomass productivities.

This FOA, entitled “Productivity Enhanced Algae and Tool-Kits,” has two topic areas: (1) algal strain improvements and (2) algal cultivation biology improvements. This FOA will allow the selection of a variety of projects and approaches that overcome species-specific, ecological, and practical challenges to improved algal productivity and biomass composition—two key metrics in achieving high fuel yields.  

Learn more about this funding opportunity and apply on the EERE Exchange.