a company that existed from 2006 to 2012.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the focus of Bodega Algae LLC?
The core competency of the company is the development of next-generation commercial algae photobioreactors for high-volume commercial production of algae biomass.
What is the core technology of Bodega Algae LLC?
The core technology of the company uses proprietary optical components to deliver light within the volume of a closed photobioreactor. The effect is a cultivation tank that is lit from within, allowing for larger, more efficient cultivation volumes. The technology also allows us to pulse the light to optimize the photosynthetic processes that cause algae to grow and multiply.
What are algae?
Algae are a large and diverse group of organisms, ranging from unicellular to multicellular forms. They are photosynthetic, using water, C02, and sunlight to turn inorganic carbon from the atmosphere into biomass. Algae range in size and shape. Bodega focuses on algae that are under 100 microns in size and elliptical or oblong in shape.
What is a Photobioreactor?
A photobioreactor is a device that cultivates algae efficiently by delivering nutrients and light for photosynthesis in optimal doses. Industrial photobioreactors can be divided into two broad categories: open systems, in which algae is grown in unenclosed exterior ponds or raceways, and closed systems, in which algae is cultivated in closed photobioreactors of various designs.
Why are algae important to biofuels?
Algae is used for a number of applications including food processing, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. Algae can also be used as a feedstock for biofuels. Each algae cell has a significant amount of lipids. These lipids can be converted to hydrocarbons which contain stored energy for energy applications. Lipids from algae can be converted to energy by burning the algae in its entirety or processing the biomass into a liquid fuel (biodiesel).
Why does Bodega produce biomass and not biofuel?
Others have proven that it is possible to process algal biomass efficiently into biofuels. Focusing on our core competency (developing photobioreactors capable of producing large volumes of biomass) allows Bodega Algae to do what we do best while minimizing technology and execution risk.
Why use algae as a feedstock for biofuels instead of other crops like
corn or soybeans?
Unlike other alternative energy fuels such as soybeans and corn ethanol, algae does not drive up world food prices by using edible crops for fuel. Algae also does not divert arable land from food consumption, requires little energy for cultivation, and can be produced economically and efficiently to meet growing energy needs. The rapid growth rate of algae allows for continuous harvesting, as opposed to one or two harvests per year. The algae also yield a higher percentage of lipids (BTU content) per given biomass density.
Where can algae be cultivated?
The diversity of algae strains makes cultivation possible in a wide range of locations and climates.
What do Algae need to grow?
Algae can be cultivated in a variety of environments, utilizing nutrients found in wastewater or greenhouse gases, saline aquifers, and seawater. Using waste by-products can serve a dual purpose of bioenergy production and environmental remediation.
How long has been algae been commercially cultivated?
Most commercial cultivation of algae focusses on food products, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics. Algae was studied extensively by the United States Aquatic Species Program established by President Carter in 1978 in response to the large domestic energy crisis in the mid 1970's. The program showed that microalgae grown in open ponds could meet the domestic energy needs of the US with the conversion of two percent of arable land.
What is limiting the mass cultivation of algae for biofuels?
The large-scale commmercial cultivation of algae is currently limited by small cultivation volumes that result in low yields of algal biomass per acre. Bodega Algae has developed a photobioreactor that solves that problem.