Thursday, December 29, 2011

[biofuelwatch] Norway's Statoil invests in biofuels from seaweed



<Using seaweed to produce biogas was first described in the 1970s - the idea is now updated to produce liquid fuels with the aid of synthetic biology. Feedstock is cultivated kelp, grown in marine farms>

Norwegian seaweed to be grown for fuel

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Bio Architecture Lab (BAL) and Statoil, one of the world's largest offshore oil and gas producers, have announced a wide-ranging strategic partnership for the production of renewable, sustainable and low cost ethanol derived from macroalgae grown off the coast of Norway.

Under terms of the agreement, Statoil will fund BAL's research and development (R&D) and demonstration projects, and if successful, will also fund the commercialization of BAL's technology in Norway and elsewhere in Europe. BAL will have the right to equity participation and will receive royalties on all ethanol and by-products produced by the partnership.

"This game changing partnership will allow Bio Architecture Lab to accelerate our path toward commercialization and establish our technology in key markets in Europe," said Daniel Trunfio, CEO of BAL. "The significant commitment of resources and funds from Statoil further validates BAL's market opportunity and puts us with an elite group of companies in our industry who have partnered with established oil and gas companies to bring technology to market."

During the initial phase of the partnership, BAL is responsible for developing the technology and process to convert Norwegian seaweed into ethanol. Statoil is responsible for developing and managing the seaweed aquafarming operations, with consultation from BAL, which already has aquafarming operations in Chile. Upon the successful achievement of key milestones, Statoil and BAL will develop a demonstration scale facility in Norway, which could potentially lead to large scale commercialization by Statoil in Norway and other parts of Europe.

"Statoil has a unique competitive advantage in energy production in the marine environment. We are very impressed with the science and the progress BAL has made and we believe their approach to low cost and sustainable biomass feedstock solutions is among the most promising we have seen," said Guntis Aboltins-Abolins, Head of the Future Fuel unit at Statoil. "We look forward to partnering with BAL on such an important strategic initiative that has the potential to provide Europe with low carbon renewable fuels."

BAL was founded to address the huge market need for a low cost, scalable, and sustainable source of sugars for biofuel and renewable chemical production using aquafarmed, native macroalgae as a feedstock.

BAL has been building out a similar program off the coast of Chile as part of a program funded by the Chilean government. In addition, BAL has partnered with DuPont in a project funded by the Advanced Research Program Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to convert macroalgae into isobutanol. In total, the company has received more than $34 million in funding, grants and strategic investments.


http://www.renewableenergymagazine.com/energias/renovables/index/pag/biofuels/colleft//colright/biofuels/tip/articulo/pagid/18439/botid/75

More information on Norway's background in seaweed biofuels:

http://www.sintef.no/home/Press-Room/Research-News/Kelp-in-the-tank/

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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

Your idea?