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Bristol Area Lions Learn About the Potential of Algae 11/23/2017

Posted by DS in club business.
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Bristol Area Lion David Kolodin (left) thanks Chief Consulting Biologist for Aqualine, LLC Christopher Maloney for his presentation on algae.

On Monday, Nov. 20, the Bristol Area Lions Club heard from Round Pond resident Christopher Maloney who is the Chief Consulting Biologist for Aqualine, LLC. 

Algae is the green stuff that most people try to eradicate when it collects in their swimming pools, on boat bottoms, docks and lines.  We know that the oysters are thriving in the Damariscotta River and are known nationwide for their quality.  The river is an excellent source of natural marine microalgae that shellfish need to thrive.    

Algae found in the sea are major sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as Omega-3s, which are essential to good health. Algae is being grown by a number of companies in both demonstration facilities as well as in large scale production for commercial applications.  Today, the focus is on supplements and feedstocks.

Since 2009, Cellana, Inc. has operated its Kona Demonstration Facility on Hawaii’s Big Island, a 6-acre, production and research facility that have produced over 11 tons of algae making it one of the most prolific algae production facilities in the world.  The system uses open seawater ponds and photobioreactors, requiring only carbon dioxide, sunlight, seawater, and nutrients. 

Another company, Qualitas Health based in Texas uses naturally available sunlight to grow algae, relying on solar energy to support algal photosynthesis.  Their harvesting process is chemical-free and harvest water is recycled back into the farming process. 

Qualitas has two farms utilizing unproductive land and salty water.  One is located in the heart of the Permian Basin in Imperial, Texas a 360-acre site using 45 acres for cultivation, planning on increasing the farm to 150 acres by 2021. Another is located in Columbus, New Mexico on a 900-acre site currently has 98 acres under cultivation, with a plan to expand to 300 acres in the next few years.

BPA, LLC designs, builds, and operates commercial scale Grower Harvester tm bioreactors that enabled efficient conversion of light and CO2 into high value feedstock. 

Biomass from algae strands provide a source of protein and other nutrients used in animal feed. Nutraceuticals focus on providing health and medical benefits in fish oil, multivitamins and supplements.  The fish meal replacements market is also served providing a sustainable source. In the chemical industry algal oil provides a nutrient composition for the production of plastics, resins and lubricants. 

In the future, the focus will be on producing a cost-efficient biofuel for producing energy.    

At the business meeting that followed the Treasurer presented the 2017-18 budget proposed by the Finance Committee which was unanimously approved.  The budget provides for an increase in the Bristol Area Lions Foundation’s four scholarships from $2,000 to $2,500 each, the continuation of providing 60 Christmas Food Baskets and a $2,000 annual donation to C.H.I.P. Inc. The donation to Caring for Kids was increased to $500 and donations to other local charities will remain unchanged from last year. 

Christmas Food Baskets will be delivered on Saturday morning, Dec. 16th in Bristol and South Bristol. 

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