NewsBits…October 21, 2021

Dr. Rebecca White is the New CEO of Pebble Labs, Inc.

Pebble Labs, Inc., an ag biotech company creating biological solutions for protecting yields and quality in food production, has announced the appointment of Dr. Rebecca White as its new CEO.  Dr. White, who previously served as the CTO for Pebble Labs, will be leading the company through the development and commercialization process for its first products. Dr. White, who is also Executive Director of the Algae Biomass Organization, has spent her career building companies through the commercialization of cutting-edge microbial products. “Pests and diseases are a massive problem worth solving in food production,” said Dr. White. “We have to minimize losses if we are going to meet the global goal of Zero Hunger. I’m proud to be leading a company that is tackling such an urgent and vital global challenge.”
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Scientists Discover Method to Boost Energy from Microalgae

A study by scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, showed how encasing algae protein in liquid droplets can dramatically enhance the algae’s light-harvesting and energy-conversion properties by up to three times. This energy is produced as the algae undergoes photosynthesis. By mimicking how plants convert sunlight into energy, artificial photosynthesis may be a sustainable way of generating electricity that does not rely on fossil fuels or natural gas, which are non-renewable and contribute to global warming. As the natural energy conversion rate from sunlight to electricity is low, boosting the overall electricity produced could make artificial photosynthesis commercially viable. The study was led by Assistant Professor Chen Yu-Cheng from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
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Chevron Lummus Global Introduces Renewable Fuel Technology

Chevron Lummus Global LLC, a joint venture between Chevron and Lummus Technology has announced the expansion of its technology portfolio with the addition of its new ISOTERRA process for renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel from biomass sources. The two-step process involves hydrodeoxygenation of alternative feeds such as vegetable, algae, palm and used cooking oils. It is then followed by dewaxing to meet final cold flow property specifications. ISOTERRA helps repurpose existing assets, making it useful for revamping existing hydrotreaters to renewables service as the process can be implemented in either one or two reactor stages. The two-stage configuration allows feed and product flexibility and robustness, and the single-stage configuration provides a low CAPEX option for existing hydrotreating facilities.
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Algama Foods Receives €2M Grant from European Commission

Algama Foods, a French startup created in 2013 to replace animal proteins with microalgae, has won the FEAMP 2020 Blue Economy Window, an award launched by the European Commission. This €2 million grant is aimed at creating alternatives to products from fishing and aquaculture. With this funding, Algama plans to finalize the R&D of its “Seafood Algternative” innovation, a vegan range of products imitating smoked salmon strips and tuna flakes. The grant will also allow the company to recruit up to 20 people to support the growth of the project. “This financial support from the European Commission validates our strategy, initiated several years ago, to develop 100% plant-based and textured food solutions thanks to algae and microalgae,” said Alvyn Severien, CEO & co-founder of Algama.
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Seafields’ New Technologies for Growing, Capturing Sargassum.

UK aquaculture business Seafields is developing and testing new technologies focused on growing and capturing Sargassum — a genus of large brown seaweed. It has exploded in growth over the last few years after escaping its normal environment in the Sargasso Sea. Not only does Seafields intend to remove over one billion metric tons of CO₂ from the atmosphere each year by 2025, but the move also has the potential to invigorate the British economy. Seafields exclusively told “Sargassum can also be used as raw material for packaging, biofuels, bioplastic, fertilizers, and textiles. An entire emerging circular blue economy could flourish around this new raw product in the UK. “In addition, being pioneers in the field of off-shore Macroalgal cultivation and carbon storage will play an important role in the UK’s economy in the near future.”
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