FAQs


Q:What does SEE ALGAE Technology do?

A: SAT sells, designs and builds fully integrated, commercial-scale algae production plants to clients worldwide. SATs algae plants are available in easily scalable sizes ranging from 1 hectare (10,000 m²) up to 40 hectares. Our production plants can produce up to 2,500 tons of algae biomass per hectare annually or up to 2.2 million liters of bioethanol per hectare per year.

Q: How is SEE ALGAE Technology different from all of the other companies that say they are doing the same thing?

A: SAT plants offer an end-to-end solution for our clients. We supply, on a turnkey basis, all components of an algae production plant, ranging from the CO2 separation unit to the algae harvesting and lipid extraction systems.

The core elements of our algae production facilities are the photobioreactors, which we use to grow algae. They have a sophisticated, proprietary sunlight concentration system that enables highly efficient, low-cost production. We do not use artificial lighting and we do not require expensive fertilizers.

We use a special, fully automatic harvesting process for the algae, which is a standard requirement for any large-scale industrial process.

SATs technology offers by far the highest algae productivity of any currently available technology for either natural algae (biodiesel, nutritional or animal feed) or genetically engineered algae (bioethanol).

Q: Where are the Companys operations located?

A: SAT is headquartered in Vienna, Austria. We operate a pilot plant adjacent to a thermal power station approximately 200km west of Vienna. SAT has subsidiaries in both New York City and Rio de Janeiro.

Q: Who runs SEE ALGAE Technology?

A: SAT is led by an experienced team of managers, all of whom have longstanding industrial experience. The top management team is complemented by our scientific staff, while our marketing efforts in Brazil are managed by a team of local experts.

Q: Where does SAT make all of its algae?

A: SAT produces the basic algae strains in its laboratory in Austria. Those strains (think of them as 100-liter canisters) are supplied to the algae production plants owned and operated by our clients. The client then uses those algae strains as the seed material for the reproduction processes that take place in their algae production plants.

Q: Who uses SATs products? Who are the products aimed at?

A: SAT designs and builds industrial scale algae production plants for clients as diverse as biodiesel producers, sugarcane growers, bioethanol producers, meat producers and in more general terms for any industrial company that wants to use its existing CO2 emissions to produce marketable and profitable products.

Q: What are the long-term goals of SAT?

A: SAT is a leading supplier of industrial-scale, fully integrated algae production plants and also the only industrial-scale supplier of algae strains usable in our algae production plants. SAT wants to become the worldwide leader in algae production plant supply by marketing its superior technology globally.

Q: What is algae?

A: In scientific terms, algae can be described as chiefly aquatic photosynthetic organisms, ranging from single cell forms to giant kelps.  Micro-algae which is what SAT uses for its production plants are microscopic, aquatic, photosynthetic plants.

Q: Why algae?

A: Algae specifically micro-algae are capable of a very high rate of reproduction which by far exceeds that of land-based crops. Algae just need a couple of days to reach maturity, whereas crops like corn need a couple of months. At the same time, algae require remarkably little sustenance to grow and reproduce at a rapid race.

Q: How long does it take to produce algae?

A: Starting from an already active cell culture, it takes approximately 10 days until algae harvesting can begin.

Q: If its so valuable, why arent individuals scooping algae out of ponds to sell it?

A: The substance that grows in ponds and swimming pools which is visible to the unassisted eye is macro-algae. Those algae are, unfortunately, completely useless for our purposes. SAT plants use micro-algae, which have distinct advantages in terms of protein and lipid content.

Q: What can you make with algae?

A: The natural algae strains used by SAT plants contain lipids, more commonly known as algae oil. This oil contains fatty acids that can be converted into biofuels, biochemicals and even nutritionals (Omega-3, for example). The algae biomass that remains after lipid extraction essentially a green powder is rich in proteins and can be used as feed for cattle or fish.

Q: What are biofuels?

A. Biofuels are derived from organic matter (obtained directly from plants, or indirectly from agricultural, commercial, domestic, and/or industrial wastes) instead of from the fossilized remains of long-dead organisms.

Q: How does SATs algae produce biofuels?

A: That depends on the algae strain used. Natural algae strains produce up to 50% of their overall weight in algae oils (also called lipids). These oils can be converted into biodiesel or biokerosene using a standard chemical process called transesterification.

Our genetically engineered algae, on the other hand, directly and continuously produce a bioethanol suspension which is then refined into commercial bioethanol.

Q: How are biofuels better than fossil fuels?

A: The use of fossil fuels creates CO2 emissions, increasing the overall CO2 concentration in the earths atmosphere, which has been linked to global warming.

Because biofuels are made of biomass which has been grown using CO2 already present in the atmosphere, biofuel use introduces no net CO2 into the earths atmosphere.

Q: Doesnt ethanol drive up the price of food?

A: That depends on which feedstock is being used to produce the bioethanol. Using corn or wheat creates additional demand for those food crops and, in times such as droughts when the supply is tight, this massive demand is likely to drive market prices for those crops higher. The actual, isolated effect that this has on food prices, however, has not been clearly documented.

Either way, producing bioethanol from SATs algae production plants avoids this problem altogether. SATs ethanol algae have a much higher ethanol productivity than any other known crop on earth, and the production plants do not require the use of arable land. Moreover, microalgae used for bioethanol production would not otherwise have been food for humans.

Q: But I heard that alternative biofuels cost $26 per gallon. Why are they so expensive?

A: Good question, especially because it doesnt have to be expensive at all! Using our proprietary algae cultivation technology, SAT is able to produce algal biofuels at prices that are competitive with prevailing market prices for fossil fuels, but without all of the price volatility, CO2 emissions, and geopolitical implications.

Q: What is biomass?

A: Biomass, in general terms, is biological material from living or recently living organisms, like plants, trees or algae.

Q: Why would a farmer feed algae to livestock?

A: Algae meal has a protein content which is very similar to that of soybean meal. Scientific research undertaken in the US (University of Minnesota, Montana State University, Alabama State University) and Australia (University of New England) shows that cattle, in particular, can digest algae meal more easily than other oilseed-based feedstocks. Algae meal is also an ideal feed for fish farms, as fish naturally feed on algae rather than land-based crops like soybeans.