In 2006, when Jag Kaurah was 66 years young he wanted to do one major project that would help the world in terms of food, fuel and climate change. Of all the possibilities, microalgae were the best possibility. So he read everything possible including the Aquatic Species Report but he disagreed with their conclusion that - Closed PBR systems are unlikely ever to be economic. Not the exact words but that is the meaning.
By early 2007 he had applied for a patent for his Floating Bed Method (FBM). This was published by WIPO in Sept 2008. This was a direct contradiction of the Aquatic Species Report (the bible of the microalgae world then) and many groups and organisations tried to copy the system including NASA that started a copy of the system under their "OMEGA" project. The most successful in replicating his system was and is, the Weismann Institute in Israel. Recently, the Weismann Institute has applied for a patent on improvements on the FBM and sent Jag a copy – very kind of them.
Since then AIB has moved on to much better and more cost effective systems. AIB's latest closed systems can produce algal biomass at a lower cost than the cheapest Chinese costs of open raceway ponds! Even more, it seems that microalgae can now compete very competitively with conventional agriculture and conventional energy. Those are very, very big and bold statements of major potential global change on an un-preceded scale but studying the results of current tests at AIB's site point to them being true. Why would that be on un-preceded scale? Microalgae have a vast genetic base so are able to supply all the molecules needed for food, energy, chemicals and more. For food, they theoretically, due to their enormous productivity, can supply all the food needed from a very small percentage of current agricultural land and all the energy needed from a very small part of the deserts.
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