National Alliance For Advanced Biofuels and Bio-Products (NAABB)
The overall goal of the National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts consortium is to produce new technologies that can be implemented by our commercial partners and others developing the algal biofuel industry. In order to achieve this goal, our program incorporates major objectives in Algal Biology, Cultivation, Harvesting/Extraction, and Conversion to fuels, Coproduct development, and Economic/energy-balance modeling and resource management components that will establish the technologies’ viability for overall sustainability.
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- Business Type:
- Research institute
- Industry Type:
- Market Focus:
- Globally (various continents)
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The urgent need to develop renewable and sustainable, carbon-neutral sources of transportation fuels is now widely accepted. The correlation between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming, combined with the reality of globally-declining petroleum production is giving a new urgency to the search for ecologically sustainable and economically viable renewable fuel options. The National Alliance for Advanced Biofuels and Bioproducts (NAABB) is a powerful research collaborative that was recently funded by the Department of Energy to help with this search through further investigating and commercializing algal biofuels. The NAABB captures and integrates intellectual property, expertise, equipment, and facilities from a diverse set of companies, universities, and national laboratories in order to develop a systems approach for sustainable commercialization of biofuels and coproducts. The advantage of this alliance lies not only in the breadth and depth of knowledge represented by its members, but also in the dynamic network that it creates; ideas can flow from the bench to the marketplace quickly and with constructive iteration so that research can be tailored appropriately.
The mission of the National Alliance for Advance Biofuels and Bio-products (NAABB) is to lay the technical foundations for a scalable, responsible and affordable renewable biofuels industry. Our technical vision is based on several key concepts: 1) the development of agronomic systems for sustainable cultivation of oleaginous microalgae using non-arable land and sustainable water sources; 2) the creation of efficient methods for harvesting and extracting fuel feedstocks; and 3) the establishment of an integrated process to support widespread commercialization of agricultural coproducts resulting from algal biomass.
As a National Alliance, we incorporate technical expertise in algal biology and cultivation for various growth ecosystems such s arid and temperate inland, coastal, and off-shore environments. A promising example would be the use of arid land with locally available brackish, saline, and produced water to grow oil-rich, marine microalgae in the southwestern United States. In addition, many in our organization represent a historical commitment to sustainable agriculture and rural economic development. Our goal is to capitalize on this broad base to determine the best environment in which to produce algal fuels to meet the National needs. In addition, the NAABB explicitly recognizes the need for international cooperation in sustainable biofuel production to exploit regional resources. This will lead to long-term political and socio-economic benefits to mankind through the development of a distributed, sustainable, postpetroleum renewable fuel economy.
Algal photosynthesis is known to be far more efficient than even the most prolific agricultural crop. As a result, only algae cultivation can produce renewable fuel feedstocks at scales capable of replacing petroleum-derived fuels. Currently there is no agronomic system for microalgae cultivation that is scalable to the millions of hectares required to sustain the U.S. transportation fuel market. Our vision incorporates bringing together academia, industry, and national laboratories to participate in technology development, intellectual property sharing, dissemination of information to the industry, and training of the next generation algal biofuels scientists, engineers, and agronomists.
The consortium members represent a well-balanced technical portfolio as well as a visioin and path that includes:
- Small-and large-scale algal agronomic systems development to accommodate expectations in renewable fuel business demographics
- Associated training programs in support of rural economic development
- An aggressive research and development program supporting technologically driven intellectual property development in algal
- biochemistry and genetics
- harvesting, extraction and conversion technologies
- advanced fuel formulation and testing technologies
- systems analyses that include how to link to the existing transportation, refinery and environmental infrastructure
- distributed test-bed and training centers
- Development of animal feed and other high-demand coproducts
- Techno-economic modeling and simulation and non-proprietary data sharing
- Research on environmental assessment metrics and the associated evolution of public policy standards
The overall success of the algal biofuels industry is dependent on the development of sustainable practices that are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and economically viable. To do this NAABB is quantitatively assessing the energy, environment, economic viability and sustainability of algal biofuels processes through economic analysis, economic models, global analysis, and life cycle and process analysis. This will lead to appropriate resource management, CO2 and nutrient management, and hydrology/water management.