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Posts Tagged ‘Algal Biomass Organization’

Algae InSight: A New Era of Domestic Energy

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I thought I’d offer a sneak peak at three things I identified in an upcoming Biofuels Digest column that the biofuel industry can do in 2012 to fill an impending “oil gap.”

This gap is identified by Cambridge Energy Research Associates, which estimates that by 2030 the world will demand 35 million barrels per day of liquid fuels from unidentified sources.

Here’s what I think everybody involved in biofuels can do this year to accelerate our role in filling that demand:

  • First, let’s all come together and realize we’re all in the fuel business. Regardless of feedstock, we need to speak with one voice.
  • Second, let’s spend our time in 2012 educating policymakers that oil is oil. It’s in our best economic and security interests to be producing as much of it as we can.
  • Third, let us once and for all understand that it is possible in our lifetime to make America a net exporter of fuels–if we leverage all the resources we have, whether it’s oil wells, shale rocks or algae ponds.

The Algal Biomass Organization will continue to educate anyone and everyone who will listen on the potential of algae to be a long term, sustainable and renewable source of domestic fuel.

But I am also calling on all the members in our organization, as well as the entire biofuels ecosystem, to stand up and be heard. Call or write your elected official. Invite your delegation to your lab or your plant. Tell them — or show them — what’s possible, and what’s needed to get there.

Tell them we’re all on the same team. That we’re striking oil all over America, and our wells don’t need digging and never run dry.

Here’s to a great 2012.

Mary Rosenthal
Executive Director, Algal Biomass Organization

Exclusive Finance Symposium at the Algae Biomass Summit

Friday, August 26th, 2011

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Financing is one of the most critical hurdles in developing a new company and the Algal Biomass Organization wants to our support to companies in this stage. Please join the ABO for the first ever Finance Symposium to be held October 24, 2011 from 1:00 to 5:00 pm at the Hyatt Minneapolis as part of the 5th annual Algae Biomass Summit. Bill Lese of Braemar Energy Ventures and Todd Taylor from Fredrikson and Byron, P.A. are co-chairing this event.

The ABO is confident this event will be very worthwhile for a company that is seeking capital. While the Symposium is not designed to serve as an investment meeting, as a participant each company will get direct, one on one, contact with leading investment professionals who know the algal industry. Each company will present an investor pitch to at least three separate groups of investment professionals, with two professionals in each group. Each company will interact directly with at least six investment professionals during the duration of the Symposium. In addition company representatives will have the opportunity to network with the investment professionals before and after the Symposium.

This event is more than just a pitch session, this is an opportunity to get open and honest feedback from the investment professionals on how to improve an investment pitch and ways to strengthen an overall business plan. Most times, if you can even get a meeting to see a key VC, you get one shot. If your pitch is not great, if your ideas have holes, they will move on to the next group. Each session with the investment professionals will be a total of thirty minutes. With the first twenty minutes for completing the pitch and the last ten minutes for feedback on the pitch. Each professional will provide feedback on strengths within the pitch, as well as the aspects of the pitch and business plan that need improvement. The group of accepted and invited reviewers is very impressive. The ABO cannot guarantee that anyone in particular will be on the review sessions for each company.

Investors participating include:

  • Alberti Advisors
  • Atlantic Venture Partners
  • Braemar Energy Ventures
  • Christianson & Associates
  • Greene Holcomb & Fisher
  • Lazard Middle Markets
  • Northland Securities
  • Pacific Crest Securities
  • Piper Jaffray
  • Robert W. Baird
  • Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital
  • Craig-Hallum Capital Group

To prepare companies for the Symposium, the ABO will host a webinar lead by Todd Taylor of Fredrikson and Byron, along with Kimberly Kupiecki of Edelman, a leading global PR firm, a very experienced nationally known investor and public relations specialist. Topics will include the basics of a pitch, personal presentation, what to include and what to exclude in a PowerPoint presentation and more. The date of this webinar will be announced in the coming weeks.

This Symposium is limited to the first 20 companies who complete the registration form and submit payment. The cost of the Symposium is $995 per company and is limited to two attendees per organization. Each Symposium attendee must also be a registered attendee for the Algae Biomass Summit. To register for the Symposium please complete an application. Companies are already registering for this event, so sign up soon to make sure you don’t miss your chance.

ABO’s Response to EPA’s “Biofuels and the Environment: First Triennial Report to Congress”

Monday, February 7th, 2011

We support the EPA’s effort to quantify the potential for algal biomass to serve as a long term, viable option for low carbon fuel and the potential environmental impacts of algae-to-fuel technologies.

The authors of the study focused on a single technology pathway – algal oil to biodiesel. We commend that the researchers recognize this is just one of myriad approaches to create fuel from algal biomass and as such, broad conclusions about the potential impact of algae-to-biofuels technologies cannot, and should not, be made.

We also significantly appreciate that the authors of the study refrained from making sweeping policy recommendations based on either incomplete data or limited pathway evaluation.

We believe this report (as well as others during the past year) must be seen as a call to action for the US algae industry to more proactively develop and share data with researchers at organizations like the EPA. This includes lifecycle analyses, techno-economic projections, yield rates, etc. In doing so, we will introduce new, current and more accurate data into the existing body of work upon which most research reports rely.

With this goal, we should see the development of reports that more accurately reflect the state of algae-fuel technologies and their potential environmental impact. This will help ensure policymakers will have the information needed to make informed decisions and craft effective policies that promote the industry’s commercial development and expand the supply of renewable, domestically produced transportation fuels in the United States.

ABO is committed to facilitating the creation of a new body of work and research through coordinated efforts with, among and between ABO’s membership, the various federally-funded algae consortia and the newly formed Committee on the Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels at the National Academy of Sciences.

The EPA report can be viewed here:

Algal Biomass Organization Blasts Flawed RAND Report

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Mary Rosenthal, Executive Director, Algal Biomass Organization
January 25, 2011

Today, the RAND Corporation published a study and accompanying press release calling into question the effectiveness of renewable fuels for military use.

The report can be found here:

A copy of the press release can be found here:

“It is our understanding that researchers at RAND did not reach out to any of the leading algae companies. Given that most of the cutting edge algae-fuels research is taking place today in the private sector where companies rightly protect their intellectual property, and given that the industry has made significant progress in the past three years, we believe the report is likely based on outdated information. In our opinion, basing sweeping policy recommendations on such data is misguided if not reckless.

The positioning of the entire US algae industry as a “research topic” is patently false. We have more than 100 companies, academic institutions and national laboratories working to develop the algae-to-fuels industry. Algae-derived fuels have already been tested and/or used in motor vehicles and commercial aircraft, and last fall’s successful test of a Navy Riverine Command boat showed that algae fuels are ready for use. It is unclear to us whether or not any actual “green” CTL fuels have been produced or tested.

We believe algae commercialization is far closer than RAND suggests. A 2010 report by Greentech Media Research projected annual US production of 6 billion gallons of algae fuel by 2022. On the contrary, the RAND report calls the potential for commercial production of CTL fuels over the next decade “very limited.”

We will continue to work on behalf of the US algae industry to inform policymakers of the true potential of algae-based fuels as a long term, viable source of renewable fuels for the military.”

Algal Biomass Organization Publishes First Descriptive Language Guidelines for the Algae Industry

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Document intended to remove confusion, increase cohesion among experts evaluating algae technology

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – December 2, 2010 – The Algal Biomass Organization (ABO), the trade association for the algae industry, today released its “Algal Industry Minimum Descriptive Language” document — the first attempt at establishing a “common language” for the algae industry. The document, which is intended to help facilitate life cycle analysis, unify research and spur the deployment of algae demonstration facilities, is currently available for viewing and public comment here on the ABO website.

“The absence of common descriptive language has led to a lack of harmony among technologists, researchers, life cycle analysis specialists and entrepreneurs as they evaluate and promote algae technologies,” said Mary Rosenthal, Executive Director of ABO. “This confusion has made it hard for others to truly capture, analyze and quantify algae technologies relative to one another. With a common language, such as the one we and many volunteer stakeholders have proposed, we hope to bring more clarity to the industry.”

The newly-released document was authored by the ABO’s Technical Standards Committee chaired by Jim Sears of A2BE Carbon Capture. The committee works to develop standards and best practices for the algae industry and facilitate the flow of information among industry stakeholders. More than 20 industry experts and organizations reviewed and commented on the document, including individuals from industry associations, national labs, companies and research institutions. It provides a set of metrics and variables for estimating and measuring the economic and environmental footprint and economic impact of an algal production facility, including all inputs and outputs.

ABO’s efforts at standardizing language for the algae industry come as the industry continues to demonstrate significant growth. Between 2005 and 2009, the number of algae-to-biofuel start ups more than tripled. A leading analysis of the algae industry projected that the industry would grow by nearly 50 percent annually over the coming decade.

The ABO will be accepting comments to the document through March 31, 2011. To provide comment, please submit your comments to All submitted comments will be reviewed by the Technical Standards committee and a determination will be made by the committee for inclusion in the final document due for publication 2Q of 2011.

Major Announcements Mark Opening Day of 4th Annual Algae Biomass Summit

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Governor Jan Brewer proclaims “Algae Innovation Awareness Week” in Arizona

PHOENIX – September 29, 2010 – The 2010 Algae Biomass Summit, the official conference of the Algal Biomass Organization (ABO), opened yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona, and was marked by several major announcements, including funding for algae research, special proclamations, and federal legislation. More than 600 industry leaders and stakeholders from 27 countries are participating in the event, the world’s largest algae conference.

“Today’s special and first-of-a-kind announcements added another level of energy and excitement to the Summit,” said Mary Rosenthal, Executive Director of ABO. “We’re thrilled with the broad array of people, organizations and countries represented here at the conference, and look forward to two more days of informative sessions and networking.”

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer kicked off the event with a major funding announcement – a $2 million investment in the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI), a partnership between Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) and Arizona State University (ASU). AzCATI will serve as a statewide and international intellectual and resource hub for algae-based goods, find innovative commercial uses for algae, operate as a learning environment for next generation scientists, facilitate collaboration between higher education, industry and national entities and be a national “test bed” for algae technology. The Governor also proclaimed the week of September 26 – October 2, 2010 as “Algae Innovation Awareness Week” in the state of Arizona.

While it didn’t happen at the conference, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4168, the Algae-based Renewable Fuel Promotion Act, which gives algae-based biofuel tax parity with cellulosic biofuels with respect to a $1.01 per gallon production tax credit and a 50 percent bonus depreciation for biofuel plant property. This strong show of support for the U.S. algae industry was well received by attendees.

Among the many presentations and panel sessions, the subject of the use of genetic technology in developing algae and associated risks was addressed by Stephen Mayfield, Ph.D., director of the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology and a professor at University of California, San Diego. Dr. Mayfield discussed the stringent regulatory requirements for development, as well as the inability of genetically enhanced algae to survive in the wild. An interview with Dr. Mayfield is available here.

Photos and video of the day’s events, as well as the pre-conference tour, are available here.

About the ABO
The Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the development of viable commercial markets for renewable and sustainable commodities derived from algae. Its membership is comprised of people, companies and organizations across the value chain. More information about ABO, including its leadership, membership, costs, benefits and members and their affiliations, is available at the website:

Algal Biomass Organization Hails Passage of H.R. 4168

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Legislation removes a major barrier to commercialization of algae-based biofuels

Washington DC (September 28, 2010) – The Algal Biomass Organization (ABO), the trade association for the U.S. algae industry, today praised the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 4168, the Algae-based Renewable Fuel Promotion Act. ABO specifically recognized Reps. Harry Teague (D-NM), Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA) for leading efforts to give algae-based biofuel tax parity with cellulosic biofuels with respect to a $1.01 per gallon production tax credit and a 50 percent bonus depreciation for biofuel plant property.

“Today, the House sent an unmistakable message of bipartisan support to the hundreds of companies, scientists, entrepreneurs and government agencies working to accelerate the development of algae-based fuels, which will create jobs, decrease emissions and reduce our nation’s dependence on imported fossil fuels,” said Mary Rosenthal, Executive Director of ABO. “The passage of this bill is a huge first step towards our goal of creating parity for algae-based biofuels within the tax code and among various other government programs.”

The timing of the legislation’s passage could not have been better, as Tuesday was the first full day of the 4th Annual Algae Biomass Summit, the official conference and trade show of the Algal Biomass Organization, the largest annual gathering of algae industry leaders in the world. More than 600 attendees have gathered in Phoenix, Arizona for the three-day summit, which features more than 100 speakers, dozens of exhibitors and poster sessions. The full agenda, including a list of current speakers, is available at:

“We’d like to thank the House – and particularly our vocal Democratic and Republican supporters in Congress – for supporting algae and giving our attendees another reason to celebrate and feel great about our industry’s prospects,” said Rosenthal.

About the ABO
The Algal Biomass Organization (ABO) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the development of viable commercial markets for renewable and sustainable commodities derived from algae. Its membership is comprised of people, companies and organizations across the value chain. More information about ABO, including its leadership, membership, costs, benefits and members and their affiliations, is available at the website: