Biodiesel Made from Algae in Sewerage Ponds

Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation has produced its first sample of homegrown biodiesel fuel using algae sourced from sewerage ponds in its region of New Zealand. In what could be the first such sample of biodiesel in the world, the breakthrough came after Aquaflow undertook a pilot project to extract algae from its excess pond discharge.

“We believe this is the world’s first commercial production of biodiesel from algae outside the laboratory, in ‘wild’ conditions,” said Barrie Leay, Aquaflow spokesperson. “To date, biodiesel from algae has only been tested under controlled laboratory conditions with specially selected and grown algae crops.” By taking the waste product, Aquaflow can create biodiesel and remove a problem for councils by producing useful clean water, a process known as bioremediation. Dairy farmers, and many food processors too, could benefit from recycling their waste streams that algae thrive in. The exact biodiesel manufacturing technology is secret, stated the release, but the process involves processing the algae pulp before extracting lipid oil, which is then turned into biodiesel. Blended with conventional mineral diesel, biodiesel could run vehicles without the need for vehicle modifications. It would also help to meet the New Zealand Government B5 (5% blended) fuel targets by 2008 moving up to B20 as biofuel production increases. Biodiesel could eventually become a sustainable, low cost, cleaner burning fuel alternative for New Zealand, powering family cars, trucks, buses, and boats and for use in heating or distributed electricity generation. Aquaflow’s next step is to increase the production from its new technology and test its product in a range of diesel engines. It has applied for funding for further R&D of the technology from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. “The market potential for this product is almost unlimited in the ‘Peak Oil’ environment we are in, as there is now a global demand for biodiesel of billions of liters per year,” said Leay. Contact Barrie Leay ( of Aquaflow Bionomic Corporation Ltd., with questions (in the UK: 03 545 1154).

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