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Monday, June 3, 2013

Orangutans, rainforests, human health, coal seam gas and algae

Anyone interested in
  • saving orangutan habitat, 
  • reducing clearing of rainforest for palm oil plantations,
  •  improving human health, and 
  • ending the coal seam gas industry 
may find the following information helpful.
Orangutan gives idea the "thumbs up"
Orangutan gives idea the "thumbs up"

The same information may also help if you are concerned about mine closures, job cuts and losses on coal infrastructure investments.

The orangutan project

Palm Oil Plantations Endangering Orangutans

During the past decade the orangutan population has decreased by approximately 50 percent in the wild. This is primarily due to human activities including rainforest destruction for palm oil plantations. At present, 80 percent of orangutan habitat has been altered or lost.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUNC) has classified the Bornean orangutan as Endangered with approximately 55,000 left with 5,000 killed a year. The Sumatran orangutan is Critically Endangered with approximately 6,300 left and 1,000 being killed a year.

What Products Contain Palm Oil?

Palm oil is the second most widely produced edible oil. Each year, Australia imports approximately 130,000 tons of palm oil.

Palm oil and its derivatives are found in around 50 percent of all packaged foods on Australian shelves. It has a longer shelf life than other vegetable oils making it more appealing for food production. Palm oil is found in many food products including biscuits, chips, crackers and batters. It is also found in toothpaste, soap, shampoo and cosmetics.

In recent years palm oil based biodiesel has entered the European market. While biofuel has been promoted as an effective means of reducing emissions, establishing palm oil plantations increases greenhouse emissions. Although Australia does not currently offer palm oil based biodiesel, if crude oil prices continue to rise the demand for biofuels may increase.
(Read more ...)

The dangerous ingredient you’re eating—
and don’t even know it

By Gretel H. Schueller, December 7, 2012

Palm kernel oil sounds harmless and even “natural,” right? And in recent years, it’s been finding its way into many packaged foods as manufacturers look for low-cost oils to replace trans fats. (After federal rules mandated all packaged foods list the amount of heart-damaging trans fats they contain on their "Nutrition Facts" labels, many manufacturers reformulated their products to ferret out the offending fat and earn a better-looking label.) Highly saturated fats turn rancid more slowly, so food companies often use them to help preserve taste and texture. Trans-fat-free—and relatively inexpensive—palm oil fit the bill. Its long shelf life and semi-solid state at room temperature make it appealing to food companies.

Palm Oil is High in Saturated Fats

About 80 percent of unmodified palm kernel oil fat is saturated. Saturated fats raise levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the blood. That’s damaging to the heart and arteries, since excessive LDL accumulates in artery walls and can trigger inflammation, eventually leading to a heart attack or stroke. (Confusingly, palm fruit oil—also known as palm oil or red palm oil—is rich in a form of vitamin E that preliminary research indicates may help fight cancer and prevent strokes; it is also lower in saturated fat.)
(Read more ...)

Synthesis Energy Systems (SES)

SES is the provider of a highly efficient, cost effective, and commercially proven coal and biomass conversion technology based on U-GAS® gasification that has been developed over the last 40 years. The U-GAS® process is the result of a Department of Energy (DOE) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) joint development program that began in the early 1970s. The technology was initially developed for the conversion of coal to synthetic natural gas, followed by power and chemicals. The U-GAS® gasification technology has been piloted, demonstrated, and commercially operated on a wide range of feedstocks including bituminous coal, sub-bituminous coal, lignite, biomass, coal char and wastes, and metallurgical coke. The technology enables customers to realize higher project returns through greater fuel flexibility, higher availability, lower operating costs, and lower capital investment.

The primary advantage of U-GAS® relative to other leading gasification technologies is its ability to produce syngas from all ranks of coal (including low rank, high ash and high moisture coals, and lignite), many coal waste products and biomass feed stocks. This process is highly efficient at separating carbon from waste ash, which allows for the efficient processing of certain low rank coal and many coal waste products that cannot otherwise be utilized in the entrained flow and fixed bed gasifiers offered by our competitors. 

After cleaning, the syngas can be used for many applications such as power and synthetic natural gas. Other byproducts such as sulfur, carbon dioxide, steam and ash are viable commercial products. 
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All about oil from algae

Applications and Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. DHA specially is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and for the development of nervous system and visual abilities during the first 6 months of life.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids as a part of diet help lower the risk of heart diseases.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids may delay or prevent the progression of certain psychotic disorders in high-risk children and adolescents.

Algae Strains Producing Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Microalgae can supply omega-3 fatty acids at high concentrations. Species of Crypthecodinium, Thraustochytrium, Ulkenia and Schizochytrium are rich the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, while species of Phaeodactylum, Chlorella, Monodus, and Nannochloropsis are rich in EPA.

Crypthecodinium cohnii is a heterotrophic algal species that is currently used to produce the DHA used in many infant formulas. Research efforts have revealed that approximately 50% Thraustochytrium aureum’s total fatty acids are DHA.

Phaeodactylum tricornutum is a high EPA-producing algal species with EPA comprising 30-40% of its total fatty acids when grown using optimum culture conditions.
(Read more ...)

Algae.Tec Ltd

The enclosed modular high-yield algae bioreactor system uses waste carbon dioxide and sunlight

Our algae technology has demonstrated exceptional performance, providing step-change improvements in productivity, product yield, carbon dioxide sequestration, plant footprint requirements and substantial capital/cost savings versus agricultural crops [such as palm oil plantations] and other competitive algae processes in the industry.

Algae.Tec Technology

Photosynthesis is a biochemical process during which:
  • algae absorbs light energy from sunlight and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or a industrial (eg stackgas) source,
  • utilizes water and critical nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous and other key nutrients), and 
  • undergoes multiple step light and dark phase reactions to biologically produce primarily lipids (fats and oils), carbohydrates (sugars) and proteins subsequently generating oxygen off-gas. 

The fundamentals of algae production and the downstream conversion to renewable fuels [or edible oils] are relatively “old” chemistries, but the optimal path to feasible commercialization does require step-changes in system design and process innovation for economic viability.
(Read more...)


Askgerbil said...

17 December, 2013

(Read more...)

To speed up the path to profitability, Algae.Tec has identified the nutraceuticals market estimated to be worth $205 billion by 2017* as a significant opportunity that offers:

Relatively low capital establishment costs
Potential for high gross margins on revenue
Significant and growing market in Asia in particular

“A decision has been made to focus, in the short term, upon the growing of high quality, high value, nutraceuticals, with an immediate focus on Chlorella and B-Carotene algae. Other nutraceutical algae products will follow,” said Stroud.

Nutraceutical are dietary supplements that support physical and mental health.
Anticipated production of Chlorella, and B-Carotene, is expected to be 2,000 tonnes in 2014, up to 4,000 tonnes in 2015, with a target of 8,000 tonnes in 2016, and 10,000 tonnes by 2017.

Indicative wholesale prices for the Chlorella and B-Carotene are currently $16,000 and up to $90,000 per tonne, respectively. The algae is 100% used as the product. A healthy gross margin on revenue is anticipated as capital costs are expected to be in the vicinity of $7,000 per tonne.

The nutraceuticals initiative was prompted by the significantly lower capital required and better anticipated profit margins per tonne of production compared with biofuels, and the very speedy path to production.