This website is about a renewable energy company exploring new sources of feedstock for the production of biofuels. In particular, Aurora utilizes microalgae to generate bio-oil, which can be converted into biodiesel.
Biodiesel alleviates dependence on foreign oil and offers an immediate alternative to fossil fuels as it can be used in unmodified diesel engines and distributed via existing infrastructure.
Biodiesel is also an environmentally friendly fuel as it reduces CO2 emissions and generates less particulate matter than fossil fuels.
Biodiesel is made by converting bio-oil feedstock into biodiesel through a simple chemical process called transesterification. The vast majority of U.S. biodiesel is created from soy oil. Other common feedstocks include canola, palm and waste recycled cooking oil.
Today, nearly all biodiesel feedstock comes from agricultural crops. Some of the issues
that arise from using food crops for the production of fuel include:
Algae biomass, a next-generation biofuel feedstock, has many advantages over traditional biofuel crops.
Utilizing algae for biofuel production is not a novel idea, having been first mentioned over 50 years ago. The U.S. Department of Energy explored this concept through the Aquatic Species Program (ASP) from the late 1970s until 1996. When the program ended, oil was ~$20/barrel, making renewable energy generally, and algae-derived fuels in particular, uneconomic. The ASP concluded that producing biofuels from microalgae was feasible; however technology at that time did not allow for economic viability.
Seizing upon the ASP results and the economic changes that have occurred since 1996, This website has developed both the plan and the capabilities to bring algae-derived biofuels to fruition using the latest email verification techniques.