The major roadblock to the successful commercialization of algae-derived products has traditionally been cost, whether in the cost of raw materials and nutrients, in the production and harvesting technology, or in the downstream processing and refining of algal bioproducts.
T2 Energy has addressed all three obstacles with our approach: the use of waste CO2 and wastewater, combined with a highly efficient closed-loop production system for enhanced growth and improved yield of both biomass and oils as well as incorporating the latest in energy efficient harvesting and downstream processing technologies.
Our technology meets these requirements by deploying an advanced algae photobioreactor designed to be used in conjunction with our proprietary mixotrophic cultivation strategy. Our unique approach to large-scale cultivation of microalgae results in over 100 fold increased areal productivity compared to conventional open-pond techniques as well as lipid profiles which are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids.
With this system T2 Energy produces algae-based products in a closed loop mixotrophic system that guarantees high quality pure oils and biomass. These sustainably produced oils and proteins are at price parity with today’s fossil, ocean, terrestrial plant, and protein-based incumbents and can be used to formulate a range of products including Omega-3 nutritional oils, biofuels, animal feedstocks, lubricants, paint additives, and many other chemical ingredients.
Feedstock & Nutrients
The T2 Energy algae cultivation system is designed to consume multiple waste streams including wastewater and CO2 from power plants or other industrial sources and utilize the greenhouse gas as a carbon source for the algae. Similarly to terrestrial plants, microalgae are capable of incorporating carbon from CO2 into their tissues, sequestering it from the atmosphere. This system of collocating algae production with power plants or other sources of CO2 emissions is designed to work anywhere in the world and is flexible with regard to the waste streams that can be utilized as raw material inputs.
T2 Energy’s photobioreactor enables continuous growth and harvesting without requiring a disruptive harvest or extraction step that decreases the productivity of the algae. The ability to continually cultivate, harvest and replenish algae in our system results in costs well below established photobioreactors, fermenters and open pond systems.
Our mixotrophic cultivation strategy has been verified by UCSD scientists to produce significantly higher biomass and oil yields than traditional phototrophic cultivation techniques and when used in conjunction with our bioreactor results in greatly improved areal productivity, a major advantage compared to traditional microalgae production practices.
T2 Energy’s algal biomass can be produced rapidly, economically and with a highly desirable oil profile for applications in the nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, biochemical, agricultural and fuel industries. Our algae’s oil contains nearly 50% of C18:1 oleic acid by volume, which constitutes an important feedstock for biodiesel, paint, and chemical additives.
Oil from our process has been found to be similar in profile to canola oil, based on gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis conducted by the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Our approach produces oils significantly less costly than fish or krill based oils, and at or below price parity for soybean oil, canola oil, palm oil or other commonly used agricultural based oil products but with the added benefit of sustainability and small facility footprint.
We see the potential of our large-scale closed photobioreactor cultivation strategy to enable production of GMO microalgae without the risk of environmental contamination associated with cultivation in open pond systems. We believe crop improvement through genetic modification will be the key to a more sustainable tomorrow, and our group is in the process of research and development on a number of genetic manipulations to unleash the potential of microalgal productivity. Our initial targets for strain development include: increasing the carbon capture potential of microalgae through increased photosynthetic efficiency, increasing the animal feed value of microalgae, and production of biomolecules useful in the synthesis of lubricating agents, polymerizing compounds, resins, and coatings.