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Science & Technology»Good Algae

»Tuesday, September 8,2009

Aurora Biofuels said that it has succeeded in optimizing its base algae strains to more than double CO2 consumption and fuel production. The company has proven these results in an outdoor open system over the last several months.

 

Using tools developed in the fields of molecular biology and biochemistry, Aurora Biofuels scientists have developed a proprietary process which allows for the selection and breeding of non-transgenic algae. Using these techniques, the company has optimized its base algae strains with an increased ability to process sunlight and carbon dioxide into algal oil.

As a result, these algae strains can produce more than twice the amount of oil. Optimized algae have been producing oil in Aurora Biofuels’ outdoor pilot ponds for several months, providing evidence that these strains will remain robust at the industrial scale and remove more carbon emissions than previously thought possible, the company said.

“This is a major breakthrough showing that one can take algae with improved productivity from the research lab to the field. What Aurora scientists have achieved is an impressive milestone on the path to large-scale commercial algae production,” said Kris Niyogi, a member of the company’s scientific advisory board and professor of algal biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

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