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Published on August 15th, 2009 | by Jerry James Stone

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Company To Develop Biofuel Made From Fish

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LiveFuels, Inc. hopes to make a renewable fuel using processed algae-fed fish.

The company–who develops renewable algae-based biofuels–has a test facility in Brownsville, TX. At the location they have 45 acres of open saltwater ponds which will be used for optimizing the algal production.

Most algae-to-biofuel companies are limited to monomcultures of algae, but LiveFuels plans to grow a mix of regional species in low-cost, open-water systems. The algae will be “harvested” with filter-feeding fish and other aquatic herbivores.

Those fish will then be processed for oil.

“Our new Brownsville facility allows us to explore a system-level solution for producing algal biofuels,” said LiveFuels CEO Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones. “By harnessing the power of natural systems, we hope to achieve what has eluded the biofuels community for decades–cost effectiveness, scalability, and sustainability.”

The company currently has 10 patents on harvesting algal biomass. Though, this might be the grossest…or tastiest depending on your perspective.

“Current approaches to generating algal-biofuels are resource intensive and face fundamental science and engineering hurdles,” said David Kingsbury, former chief program officer for the Science Program of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and chairman of the LiveFuels scientific advisory board. “LiveFuels’ approach is ingenious in its simplicity. By turning natural food chains into productive systems, LiveFuels eliminates many of the costs and risks plaguing other approaches to using algae for biofuels.”

The results of the Texas-based testing could expand to full-scale operation along the coast of Louisiana. Um, eww.

Source: SustainableBusiness.com


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About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.



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  • Pedro

    Es una noticia horrible, ¿porque seguimos disponiendo de la biología marina como si fueran objetos de consumo?, ¿hasta donde va allegar esta locura depredadora?.

  • Pedro

    Es una noticia horrible, ¿porque seguimos disponiendo de la biología marina como si fueran objetos de consumo?, ¿hasta donde va allegar esta locura depredadora?.

  • Pedro

    Es una noticia horrible, ¿porque seguimos disponiendo de la biología marina como si fueran objetos de consumo?, ¿hasta donde va allegar esta locura depredadora?.

  • Pingback: green rebates » Blog Archive » Company To Develop Biofuel Made From Fish

  • http://keepbiz.blogspot.com keepbiz

    Good invention.. We will save oil..

  • http://keepbiz.blogspot.com keepbiz

    Good invention.. We will save oil..

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Technology Slice

    Interesting fuel source.

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Technology Slice

    Interesting fuel source.

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Technology Slice

    Interesting fuel source.

  • http://opensustainability.net/blog chaux cedric

    I m not sure it s such a good idea. They are going to do the same mistakes than fish industry. They ll make industrial farms that will pollute the ocean.

    Indeed fish are more and more rare due to intensive fishing. Why using them to product carburant.

    I just find the idea of using lives for biofuel so unethical. Particulary limiting them to the only function of algua harvester. Am I the only one who thinks like that ?

    THe same dilemna occurs again , using our resources to produce food or fuels..

  • http://opensustainability.net/blog chaux cedric

    I m not sure it s such a good idea. They are going to do the same mistakes than fish industry. They ll make industrial farms that will pollute the ocean.

    Indeed fish are more and more rare due to intensive fishing. Why using them to product carburant.

    I just find the idea of using lives for biofuel so unethical. Particulary limiting them to the only function of algua harvester. Am I the only one who thinks like that ?

    THe same dilemna occurs again , using our resources to produce food or fuels..

  • http://opensustainability.net/blog chaux cedric

    I m not sure it s such a good idea. They are going to do the same mistakes than fish industry. They ll make industrial farms that will pollute the ocean.

    Indeed fish are more and more rare due to intensive fishing. Why using them to product carburant.

    I just find the idea of using lives for biofuel so unethical. Particulary limiting them to the only function of algua harvester. Am I the only one who thinks like that ?

    THe same dilemna occurs again , using our resources to produce food or fuels..

  • http://extremegreenvillage.com Bob Henry

    I am very skeptical about growing fish fed on algae that was grown so that biofuels could be made.

    If you can make the biofuel from the fish why can’t you make biofuel from the algae?

    What percentage of the fish is fat anyway? Are the byproducts food of some sort?

    I don’t mean to negative but what is the author thinking?

    This is just an incomplete article to my way of thinking.

    Please, in the future, read the articles out loud so that you can see my point.

  • http://extremegreenvillage.com Bob Henry

    I am very skeptical about growing fish fed on algae that was grown so that biofuels could be made.

    If you can make the biofuel from the fish why can’t you make biofuel from the algae?

    What percentage of the fish is fat anyway? Are the byproducts food of some sort?

    I don’t mean to negative but what is the author thinking?

    This is just an incomplete article to my way of thinking.

    Please, in the future, read the articles out loud so that you can see my point.

  • Don Steinke

    Keeping fish in crowded pens for food is a violation of nature. Doing so for fuel is worse.

    Animals are not intended to be raised in over crowded cages. They were designed by God, or evolution, to be more mobile.

    Algae is a different story.

  • Don Steinke

    Keeping fish in crowded pens for food is a violation of nature. Doing so for fuel is worse.

    Animals are not intended to be raised in over crowded cages. They were designed by God, or evolution, to be more mobile.

    Algae is a different story.

  • Don Steinke

    Should I have said, “algae are a different story”?

  • Don Steinke

    Should I have said, “algae are a different story”?

  • Don Steinke

    Should I have said, “algae are a different story”?

  • http://www.southcarolinavacationrentalsinfo.com/ magjaysc

    THe fish always stinks from the head…the top…

  • http://www.southcarolinavacationrentalsinfo.com/ magjaysc

    THe fish always stinks from the head…the top…

  • Hugo

    I’m sorry, I can’t understand the objections… I’m guessing that the fish is going to be “produce” just for harvesting the algae. If that’s the case then there are no implications for overfishing. In the “Keeping fish in crowded pens” issue, may I remind everybody how chickens are “produced”. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of that, but there’s no practical difference. Even with cows the situation has some similarities.

  • Hugo

    I’m sorry, I can’t understand the objections… I’m guessing that the fish is going to be “produce” just for harvesting the algae. If that’s the case then there are no implications for overfishing. In the “Keeping fish in crowded pens” issue, may I remind everybody how chickens are “produced”. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of that, but there’s no practical difference. Even with cows the situation has some similarities.

  • Hugo

    I’m sorry, I can’t understand the objections… I’m guessing that the fish is going to be “produce” just for harvesting the algae. If that’s the case then there are no implications for overfishing. In the “Keeping fish in crowded pens” issue, may I remind everybody how chickens are “produced”. That doesn’t mean I’m in favor of that, but there’s no practical difference. Even with cows the situation has some similarities.

  • Soylent

    “I’m sorry, I can’t understand the objections…”

    If it was remotely viable to grow fish for oil this way you could instead produce cheap, high-quality food like herring, shrimp or other filter-feeding fish people like to eat.

    Since my desire to eat delicious herring is in competition with your desire to burn fish oil in your car and I’m willing to outbid you by a very large margin; I’m going to get the fish and your car is not. Only one my and everyone elses desire to eat cheap, delicious fish is sated will you have any fish left over for the biofuels refiners.

  • Soylent

    “I’m sorry, I can’t understand the objections…”

    If it was remotely viable to grow fish for oil this way you could instead produce cheap, high-quality food like herring, shrimp or other filter-feeding fish people like to eat.

    Since my desire to eat delicious herring is in competition with your desire to burn fish oil in your car and I’m willing to outbid you by a very large margin; I’m going to get the fish and your car is not. Only one my and everyone elses desire to eat cheap, delicious fish is sated will you have any fish left over for the biofuels refiners.

  • Soylent

    “I’m sorry, I can’t understand the objections…”

    If it was remotely viable to grow fish for oil this way you could instead produce cheap, high-quality food like herring, shrimp or other filter-feeding fish people like to eat.

    Since my desire to eat delicious herring is in competition with your desire to burn fish oil in your car and I’m willing to outbid you by a very large margin; I’m going to get the fish and your car is not. Only one my and everyone elses desire to eat cheap, delicious fish is sated will you have any fish left over for the biofuels refiners.

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