Algae Biofuel To Send Astronauts to Space? Israel’s Seambiotic Partners With NASA


Algae could be a viable source of biofuel if it can be produced efficiently. Read our recent story on Algaenesis. Now Seambiotic, an Israeli company that develops marine microalgae for the nutraceutical and biofuel industries, has just announced that it will work with the NASA Glenn Research Center to develop an on-going collaborative R&D program for optimization of open-pond microalgae growth processes.

Under the Agreement, NASA Glenn and Seambiotic USA will work together to improve production processes and to study and qualify algae oil from alternative species and production processes as candidate aviation fuel at NASA’s test facilities.

“Under a Space Act Agreement, NASA is partnering with Seambiotic USA to model growth processes for microalgae for use as aviation biofuel feedstock,” said Prof. Ami Ben-Amotz, Chief Scientific adviser to Seambiotic.

“The goal of the agreement is to make use of NASA’s expertise in large-scale computational modeling and combine it with Seambiotic’s biological process modeling to make advances in biomass process cost reduction.”

The NASA research center is one of NASA’s 10 field centers, with the resources for developing cutting-edge technologies and advancing scientific research that address NASA’s mission to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research.

Working in partnership with government, industry and academia, the center serves to maintain the U.S. economy’s global leadership while benefiting the lives of people around the world.

Seambiotic was founded in 2003 to grow and process marine microalgae for the nutraceutical and biofuel industries. Its research efforts include a pilot study at an Israeli Electric Corporation power station near the city Ashkelon, Israel, where various species of marine microalgae have been successfully cultivated using the power station’s CO2 emissions released directly from their smokestacks; the microalgae are in turn used as feedstock for biofuel.

Seambiotic technology reduces the cost of microalgae production significantly while lowering global warming by reducing industrial CO2 emissions. The company is currently in transition from the pilot plant stage to large scale industrial algae cultivation and production.

More on algae for biofuel:

  1. Isaac Berzin Enlists Israelis Into The Business of Algae for Biofuel 
  2. Expanding the Role of Algae: Algaenesis
  3. Algae-For-Biofuel Isaac Berzin’s New Advert Touting the Importance of this Alternative Energy Source
  4. Squeezing Energy From a Plant’s Metabolism at Hebrew University 


[image via pahudson]

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11 thoughts on “Algae Biofuel To Send Astronauts to Space? Israel’s Seambiotic Partners With NASA”

  1. Freak says:

    i don't understand what the heck it is saying.

  2. Freak says:

    i don't understand what the heck it is saying.

  3. GoUSA:

    It’s a good question, but the answer is probably simple: business. NASA is probably looking for the best fit at the best cost. Many Israeli scientists work for and with NASA, here in Israel and there in the US. So the connections are strong and lasting and come from the inside; and usually Israelis can be trusted with America’s national secrets . . .

  4. GoUSA says:

    I think this is a great step forward for renewable fuels. My only gripe is this: why wouldn’t NASA invest in one of 50 American companies doing the same thing as Seambiotic? GreenFuel, Isaac Berzin’s startup, just shut down this year, in large part due to lack of funding. Much of their research and engineering surpassed that of Seambiotic. More US money leaving the country. What is it with these administrations’ ignorance or refusal of keeping cash inside the US?

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