Success in the Renewable Energy Sector May Hinge on Algae Cultivation

Companies and governments all over the world are racing to find cleaner, greener energy alternatives to end our society’s addiction to fossil fuels and cut down on the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

But in the flurry of new developments and optimistic predictions, it is difficult to separate the hype from real hope. Generally the province of startups and emerging growth companies, the field has come of age with major industrial giants now jumping into the fray. However, even scientists at ExxonMobile contend that economically viable substitutes for crude oil will take five to ten years to develop. In the meantime, the search is on for investment “nuggets” in this alternative energy “stream”.

The biofuel industry is currently transitioning from first-generation biofuels to so-called advanced biofuels as evidence mounts that corn-based ethanol and soybean biodiesel are not as ecologically, socially or economically sustainable as many first thought. Algae have been touted as a better organic material for producing biofuel by many researchers and entrepreneurs. Of all the green organisms capable of photosynthesis on earth, algae are considered the “gold standard”. It does not take up any arable land and can be grown in controlled conditions. At a very basic level, algae only need water, sunlight, carbon dioxide and some nutrients to grow.

However, algae cultivation is not new technology. Algae strains have been grown for decades in open ponds on a commercial basis, primarily to support the vitamin and neutraceutical industry. Most companies pursuing algae as a source of biofuels are pumping nutrient-laden water through photobioreactors (PBRs), a set of plastic tubes that are exposed to sunlight. This type of closed-system eliminates the problem of contamination by other organisms blown in by the air. Open-pond systems for the most part have been given up for the cultivation of algae with high-oil content.

Many industry experts believe the DOE’s research in the late nineties was flawed due to its decision to focus its efforts exclusively on open-ponds. PBRs were discounted as too expensive to build, despite their obvious advantages. One company that has focused its entire effort on solving PBR engineering problems is BioCentric Energy Holdings, Inc., (“BEHL”), a publicly held company that manufactures and sells closed-loop Algae PhotoBioreactor systems for the commercialization and low cost production of Algae. The company also provides turnkey, end-to-end support with a completely automated remote computerized monitoring system.

BioCentric engineers have attacked the cost issues surrounding the use of PBRs in the cultivation of algae, the key to unlocking the use of current technology for profitable gain today. What other companies sell for $100, BEHL can deliver for $20, an enormous capital cost saving, and a cost reduction that yields byproducts from algae well below market driven price points.

The key strategic directions of the company have been:

  • Focus on the Algae Production Market: The benefits of algae biomass and its byproducts are plentiful and well documented by various public and private studies;
  • Develop Products and Services that optimize Algae Production: The Company has developed a range of product and services over the past 3-4 years to support profitable algae cultivation;
  • Focus internal production on value-added byproducts: The Company is leveraging internal facilities to produce profit-laden biomass byproducts to derive short-term sustainability.

BEHL is already known as the “Wal-Mart” of the industry. It has achieved this status without major external funding. Initial shareholder monies purchased an “OTC” shell company. Funding has come from client deposits and the public sale of shares, which has caused dilution and a declining stock value. An external audit is near completion, and the company plans to upgrade to “OTC:BB” status shortly. Early advances were gained through collaboration with Czech scientists and associated university grants, but a complete team of scientists and engineers has now been assembled in California. The company also plans to raise additional capital to accelerate its current efforts.

Proprietary algae farms are in their early development stage at the moment. Customer deposits are awaiting revenue recognition until DHA Omega 3 product orders are filled. The Company is primed for the next stage in its growth and has attracted interest from a number of prospecting micro-cap and penny stock newsletters. Company products are gaining traction in the marketplace, and the firm is also attracting the level of talent it needs to move to the next level.

BioCentric Energy has the potential for enormous growth in an industry that will grow in double-digits for decades to come. Significant revenue recognition could begin in the near term. As with any emerging stage company, an investment in BEHL entails high risk. Due diligence and research are necessary before any decision for purchase should be considered.

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