BBI releases algae technical report

By Anna Austin
Web exclusive posted August 29, 2008 at 12:01 p.m. CST

Colorado-based BBI International Inc., a diversified renewable energy firm, has released a 22-page technical report that details the challenges associated with growing and harvesting algae for biofuel applications.

Jeff Coombe, BBI International technical analyst and author of the paper, said the "new feedstock on the block" is emerging as a renewable energy option possessing great potential. "Algae is an exciting new development in the biofuels arena, for several reasons," he said. "It is one of the few feedstocks that have the potential to truly replace petroleum-all of the liquid fuel needs of the United States can be grown on 28.5 million acres, only 1.25 percent of our total land area." In addition, algae can grow in poor quality or salty water, and absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants, Coombe said.

"The catch, and the trick nobody has figured out yet, is how to grow the mass quantities of these one-celled organisms needed for the biofuels industry," Coombe said. "BBI has decided to produce this technical review paper as a primer to help potential investors in this new field, as well as interested members of the general public, get up to speed on the current technology." Coombe said algae-farm technology is divided into two camps-the low-cost open pond proponents and the high-yield closed system, or photobioreactor camp.

Contents of the report include an overview of algae as a feedstock; product, profitability, species, harvest, growth parameter information, and production technologies.

The $495 report is available through BBI's online store. To purchase a copy, visit

BBI International also offers other services, including feasibility studies, site inspections, feedstock resource assessments, market analyses, technology and risk assessments, economic impact studies, and project development services.