Source: PR newswire VG Energy, a subsidiary of Viral Genetics, Inc. (Pinksheets: VRAL), announced today that it has retained alternative energy producer BioProcess Algae, LLC to verify lab results on a large scale for the development of commercial production of its potential biofuel process. VG Energy has developed proprietary technology, with results reproduced multiple times from test-tube to small-pond studies, which holds promise in producing algal biofuel on a commercial scale, at prices competitive with or better than current oil prices.
“VG Energy’s technology has shown great promise as a viable and cost-effective additive for alternative energy sources,” said Haig Keledjian, CEO of VG Energy and Viral Genetics. “We are thrilled to be working with BioProcess Algae to take the next steps and move from the laboratory to a viable production setting.”
The agreement came together quickly and was facilitated by VG Energy SVP Monica Ord. “I have Richard Branson and Mike Willis from Virgin Green to thank for the introduction to Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE) and BioProcess Algae,” said Ord. “We have repeated our proof of principle research studies multiple times, internally and through Texas A&M, which have clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of the compound on a small scale. Bioprocess Algae gives us the ability to move quickly into full autotrophic, mixotrophic and heterotrophic scale-up studies, and we are excited to begin.”
A process increasing lipid production in algae cells and considerably improving their rate of recyclability has been discovered by VG Energy and its lead researcher, Dr. M. Karen Newell Rogers, the Raleigh R. White, Jr. Endowed Professor of Surgical Research at Texas A&M Health Sciences Center and Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas. A recent report by biofuels expert John Sheehan models several current production techniques, with their productivity enhanced by VG Energy’s process, with the results showing potential for a cost-effective energy source. A direct result of work undertaken by Dr. Newell Rogers for cancer treatment, this process, Metabolic Disruption Technology (MDT), appears to act as a long-sought lipid trigger to cause algae cells to store increased fat, making them more productive as an energy source. When the process was applied to algae cells in the lab, extractable lipid, or fat, production was increased by a minimum of 300%. Additionally, the process enables cells to release fats outside the cell walls, making much of the algae recyclable and increases its viability as an alternative energy source.
“Viral Genetics is in the right place at the right time with this technology. Identifying and controlling the trigger for lipid production in algae has long been the holy grail of algal biofuels technology. Many big players are working in this field, and whoever is first to translate such a discovery into an economic process will leap frog to the front of the pack.”