More Support for Carbon Utilization in Congress

July, 26 / 2018

This month the momentum for supporting technologies that put carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to good use got a boost in Congress with the introduction of the bipartisan Carbon Utilization Act of 2018. The House bill would support utilization technologies, such as algae cultivation, by allowing them to qualify for support through (USDA) loan guarantees, rural development loans, and research programs.

The legislation was introduced by U.S. Congressmen Scott Peters (CA-52) and David Young (IA-3), and has a complement in the Senate that was introduced by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). All four of these elected officials hail from states that are home to several ABO members and robust algae cultivation operations. 

If passed, the new policy would lead to “increased biogas production as part of a diverse mix of energy sources, from natural gas to nuclear, to wind and solar, and even algae, to meet our future energy needs,” said Rep. Peters.

ABO has worked closely with its membership and Congressional leaders to build support for new technology development policies that can accelerate the role algae could play in energy, agriculture and other industries.

“Algae and other emerging technologies are transforming carbon emissions from [an] environmental challenge to economic opportunity. The Carbon Utilization Act recognizes the important role USDA can and must play in supporting farmers, small businesses, and rural utilities in the deployment of carbon capture and use and the development of value-added products from recycled carbon. ABO thanks Congressmen Peters and Young for their leadership in this important work,” said Matt Carr, Executive Director of Algae Biomass Organization.

Read more in this press release. 

Give Your Garden A Boost With Seaweed

July, 26 / 2018

This helpful article on the sustainable living website eartheasy.com touts the benefits of gardening with seaweed. Mulching with seaweed collected at the beach saves water, enriches soil, repels pests, and boosts productivity, according to founder Greg Seaman.

“Seaweed will benefit your garden any time of year, but it is especially useful as a mulch to protect plants during hot, dry weather. In our garden, we’ve come to rely on seaweed as a valuable, yet free, source of fertilizer, mulch and organic pest control all in one natural material.”

Among other tips, Seaman suggests using small, broken-up seaweed gathered a few yards inland from the water’s edge. Once home, apply a 4-inch-thick layer on top of the soil in place of conventional mulch.

Greg isn’t alone. Chris Hull at Organic Authority makes a similar case in this article, adding that natural seaweed has 60 trace minerals and ready-to-use nutrients including nitrogen, potassium, phosphate, and magnesium.

Hulk Skin: Incredible Applications Of Algae In Regenerative Medicine

July, 25 / 2018

A recent study in the journal Biomaterials proposes using photosynthetic green microalgae to solve a pressing problem in the field of regenerative medicine. After a burn or other serious injury, a patient’s dead tissue is surgically removed, and a dressing is applied to the wound. The body eventually recovers by forming a scar.

Advancements in the field of artificial tissue engineering have enabled the prospect of using a patient’s own cells to grow new skin and muscle tissues in a laboratory, which can then be transplanted at the site of the wound. However, researchers have been unable to engineer viable capillaries given their small size and fragile meshwork. Faced with this challenge, the researchers in this study cleverly chose to circumvent this problem by incorporating algae into the tissue scaffolds prior to implantation.

When the algae embedded in the cell tissue are exposed to light, they undergo photosynthesis and produce oxygen, where it is locally available to neighboring cells. Incredibly, the study also shows that algae in engineered tissues can be genetically modified to safely produce and deliver beneficial molecules like human growth factors directly to cells in addition to oxygen, further enhancing recovery.

In case you were wondering, that green color eventually disappears. The algae, having served their function, are broken down and absorbed by the body.

Tuesday is Algae Day at BIO World Congress

July, 13 / 2018

The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology is the world’s largest gathering of the industrial biotech sector, bringing together the biggest names in food and agriculture, energy and manufacturing, and more. And this year the Congress will host its first ever Algae Day!

ABO is partnering with BIO to present a full day of algae programming on the conference’s opening day, Tuesday, July 17, featuring presentations from leading ABO members, including Algama, Algenol, Arizona State University, Corbion Biotech, DSM, Qualitas Health and more. Sessions include:

Then join ABO staff and Directors for a Meet & Greet at the conclusion of the day’s programming, 6:00-7:30pm at 13 Restaurant in the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown. RSVP here. Join us!

Algae 101: Commercial Applications for Algae

July, 10 / 2018

Meet the Biggest Names in the Algae Industry at this Special Networking Session Before the Algae Biomass Summit!
  
We have just announced a new, exclusive session that will kick off the 2018 Algae Biomass Summit this year in The Woodlands, Texas!

Algae 101 is a chance to meet face-to-face with the scientific and commercial leaders that are turning algae into a game-changing technology.

Hear from the insiders that are using algae to revolutionize food, nutrition, water treatment, advanced materials, energy and many other markets.

Register soon–this exclusive session sold out last year!

 
Algae 101
Sunday, October 14, 2018
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center
The Woodlands (Greater Houston), Texas
$75 for ABO members
$100 for non-members

Learn more

Contact Your U.S. Senators TODAY in Support of Algae Agriculture

June, 28 / 2018

The algae community is close to radically altering the way U.S. farm policy approaches algae – but only if we make our voices heard.

Following months of outreach, education and advocacy by ABO and its members, the U.S. Senate is considering a series of proposals to boost U.S. Department of Agriculture support for algae agriculture and related technologies. The fate of these proposals could be determined this week.

Thanks to remarkable work by ABO and its partners, the 5-year Farm Bill being debated this week in the U.S. Senate contains several provisions to boost algae agriculture, including:

  • Nearly $900 million for Title IX “Energy Title” programs
  • Full eligibility for algae under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program
  • Improvements to the Biorefinery Assistance loan guarantee program
  • New USDA Carbon Utilization Education program

But the fate of three key amendments remains up in the air:

  • USDA Algae Research Initiative – Amendment SA 3205 from Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Tom Udall (D-NM) would for the first time establish an Algae Research Initiative at USDA, creating a home for research on algae for food and feed, soil health and nutrient management, and other applications of algae in agriculture. ABO secured a similar provision in the House of Representatives’ version of the bill, but it was not included in the language approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee earlier in June.
  • Loans for Carbon Capture and Use – A pair of amendments (SA 3341 and SA 3342) from Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) would provide explicit eligibility for biological carbon capture and use (CCU) projects, including algae, under USDA’s Rural Electric Loan program and Biorefinery Assistance Program.

Please call, tweet, or Facebook message your two U.S. Senators TODAY with the following message:

“My name is [YOUR NAME] from [YOUR ORGANIZATION] in [YOUR TOWN]. I am [calling/writing] to ask Senator [YOUR SENATOR]to support the growing algae industry in [YOUR STATE] by asking Agriculture Committee Chairman Roberts and Ranking Member Stabenow to please include the Cornyn-Udall amendment SA 3205, as well as Bennet amendments SA 3341 and SA 3342 in the Farm Bill managers’ package.”   

>>>Find your Senators’ phone numbers here: CALL

>>>Find their twitter handle here: TWEET

>>>Find their Facebook page here: MESSAGE

More than ever, Senators really do pay attention to these kind of messages, especially when they come from constituents. We need as many Senators as possible to know about the importance of these amendments to the algae community. So get on the phone or your favorite social media platform TODAY and let your Senators hear from the Algae Nation.

Where Young Innovators Can Make Connections at the Algae Biomass Summit

June, 26 / 2018

Looking to make connections at the 2018 Algae Biomass Summit? Visit the Young Innovators Lounge (YIL), a space aimed at connecting young ABO members with companies, entrepreneurs and experienced researchers focused on algae products, technology development and more.

Networking at the Algae Biomass Summit

Young innovators networking at the Algae Biomass Summit

Students, and early career professionals interested in learning and connecting are welcome to participate. The YIL occurs during the energy breaks between sessions at the Summit–check the agenda for timing and location.

Stop by to talk to our guests from industry, academia, national laboratories and innovative companies and organizations who will share their experience in the algae sector and connect with you.

Come, learn and build your network in the algae sector!

Are you interested in becoming a mentor and speaker for the Young Innovator Lounge? Contact Everett Eustance and Adriana Alvarez De La Hoz at everett.eustance@asu.edu & alvar353@umn.edu

The 2018 Young Innovators Lounge is sponsored by BioProcess Algae.

 

Poster Competition at the 2018 Algae Biomass Summit Still Accepting Applications

June, 26 / 2018

Poster submissions for the 2018 Algae Biomass Summit are still being accepted! If you are a student or a first-year postdoc, the Algae Biomass Organization invites you to participate in our Young Researcher Poster Competition at the Summit.

Prepare a great poster, highlight your work, and earn the chance to receive one of our awards with cash prizes! Submit your poster abstract here. 

Once you have your abstract under review, you can register for the conference, and submit for the competition by Sept. 15th. Check out the evaluation rubric in our Poster Presenter Guide.

For more information on the poster competition contact: Everett Eustance and Adriana Alvarez De La Hoz at everett.eustance@asu.edu & alvar353@umn.edu

Gross-Wen Technologies Raises $2 Million for Wastewater Treatment Tech

June, 22 / 2018

One of ABO’s newest members, Iowa-based Gross-Wen Technologies, recently announced a $2 million investment from Doerfer Corporation, a US-based engineering and manufacturing firm. 

The investment will be used to further commercialize Gross-Wen’s algal wastewater treatment technology developed at Iowa State University.

GWT’s technology uses advanced algae cultivation techniques to remove nitrogen, phosphorus and other pollutants from municipal and industrial wastewater. The algae biomass that is produced can be used as a slow-release fertilizer or to make bioplastics and biofuels.

A press release includes more information about the investment and Gross-Wen’s progress toward deploying the technology at commercial scale. GWT recently demonstrated the process at pilot-projects in Iowa as well as one with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Here’s a video of the installation in Chicago:


GWT Founder and President Dr. Martin Gross says the system is now ready for commercial deployment. In addition to offering an effective water treatment option, the system can also introduce a new revenue stream for treatment plant operators. 

“Most communities don’t want to sell algae, that’s not their business model, but it is ours,” Gross said. “We provide an offtake agreement for the algae and profit share with the community. So, a conventional municipal treatment plant that was traditionally a cost center now creates a revenue stream when they implement our system.”

More coverage of the investment and Gross-Wen’s approach is available here. 

Supporting the Algae Foundation Now Easier Than Ever With New AmazonSmile Link

May, 24 / 2018

Turn Your Amazon Purchases Into Support For The Algae Foundation’s Algae Academy

Today the Algae Foundation has launched an initiative with AmazonSmile to support the Foundation’s K-12 STEM project, The Algae Academy, and reach even more students through the algae outreach program.

AmazonSmile is an Amazon service that allows a buyer to donate a portion of their purchase to a charity/non-profit of their choice.  The AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases.

“It doesn’t sound like much, but contributions through AmazonSmile can add up quickly for a project like ours,” said Tiffany Cannis, Vice Chair of the Algae Foundation. “This is an easy, hassle-free way for the industry to support the Algae Foundations’ goals to inspire the next generation of Algae researchers, scientists and engineers. Anyone who orders from Amazon can donate this way, and it is especially effective when

 organizations who purchase goods through Amazon choose to do so through AmazonSmile with the Foundation selected as their charity of choice.” 

The Algae Academy provided 48 Algae STEM Kits to middle school classes in California, Michigan, and Ohio last year.  In 2018, our goal is to provide 150 kits to middle and high school classrooms nationwide.  Each kit serves up to 150 students and is provided completely free of charge to teachers.  In order to continue to serve our schools and engage students in algal education, we need to raise $20,000+ annually.  Our AmazonSmile proceeds will help us meet this annual goal.

To contribute to the Algae Academy, visit: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/46-2312083, log in, and select the Algae Foundation as your non-profit of choice.  Then make purchases on AmazonSmile like you normally would.