|“Certain food-based biofuels like biodiesel have always been a bad idea. Others like corn ethanol have served a useful purpose and essentially are obsoleting themselves.”|
A realistic path: Energetic efficient and Economic viable
- First of all, microalgae biofuel are liquid hydrocarbon-based fuel product. Unfortunately, sole fuel product, either autotrophic (inorganic carbon-based) or heterotrophic (sugar-based) is NOT GOING TO WORK, at least for this decade. Cost of resources and human labor overwhelms the revenue that is collected from fuel product. Furthermore, solid residual which are left after harvest process will become a stinky waste which costs to be processed.
Figure 1. Comparison of world sugar and crude oil prices
- However, liquid fuel are critical to the human society, due to the inevitable use of aviation fuel and existing petrochemical industry. Realistically, fuel product combined with animal & aquaculture feed can be sold at more than 5 times than oil sales.
For example, we collected 15% hydrocarbon from 30% cellular hydrocarbon per cell dry weight after subcritical hydrothermal liquefaction or solid-state organic extraction, leaving 50% protein per cell dry weight at least can be further processed into feedstock. Animal and aquaculture can be sold at 3-4 folds than liquid fuel product per weight.
Figure 2. Example of microalgae cell dry weight content.
Our team has spent four years in research and development of microalgae production to find an ideal strain and cultivation strategy for commercial use. Before that, we saw so many failures and schemes in this field so that we tried to do it in a different way. Omega-3 from microalgae has become a challenging idea for the team but it turns out that it would be one of only few ideas which will succeed in reality. Microalgae can contains considerable amount of Omega-3 fatty acids which makes them a perfect source of Omega-3 if we can grow them in a controllable, consistent and cost-effective way.