Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Another Big Oil Company Gets Behind Algae

Indian Oil Company is now the fifth world-class oil company (and 1st national oil company) to join the race to develop large-scale commercial algal fuels.
In India, Indian Oil Company became the fifth oil major and first national oil company (NOC) to decisively enter the algal fuel race, signing a MOU to enter into an agreement with PetroAlgae to license micro-crop technology for the large-scale production of renewable fuels.

The announcement is also the first between an oil major and an algal fuel developer expressly aimed along a commercialization path. Previous tie-ups have featured early-stage investment and R&D partnership. _BiofuelsDigest
Other big oil companies invested in algal fuels include Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, and Chevron. Several other large oil companies are invested in microbial biofuels and cellulosic fuels.

A recent consulting report from SRI in Menlo Park states that a solid catalytic approach to biodiesel catalysis by Catilin LLC has the potential to reduce production costs for biodiesel by between 13 and 19 cents per gallon.
Catilin Inc. announced results from an analysis of its new T300 catalyst completed by SRI Consulting of Menlo Park, Calif. “SRI came to us and said they’d like to do an in-depth study and publish it for their subscribers,” said David Sams, vice president for business development. The independent study supported results from Catilin’s internal work as well as outside engineering analysis commissioned by Catilin. SRI Consulting concluded that Catilin’s solid catalyst process has a value advantage over the traditional catalytic process of 13 cents per gallon of biodiesel. When the capital expense savings are included, the advantage increases to 19 cents per gallon of biodiesel. _Biodiesel
Advantages of this solid catalytic approach are numerous, and Al Fin expects such approaches to biodiesel production to supercede current approaches very quickly.

Another solid catalytic approach -- the McGyan process (PDF) used by Ever Cat -- deserves its own post.

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