Israeli company, NASA to work together on bio-fuel project

Seambiotic USA seeks to combine NASA's expertise in computing models with the Israelis' knowledge of a cost-effective method for microalgae cultivation.

July 7, 2009 10:13
1 minute read.
Israeli company, NASA to work together on bio-fuel project

filling gas 88. (photo credit: )


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


In a move away from dependence on fossil fuels, Israeli company Seambiotic and NASA's John Glenn Research Center will jointly research the production of microalgae, which can be used a feedstock for bio-fuel. Seambiotic USA, a subsidiary of the Israeli company, entered into a Space Act Agreement with NASA in late March to combine the agency's expertise in computing models with the Israelis' knowledge of a cost-effective method for microalgae cultivation, according to Noam Menczel, director of investor relations and business development at Seambiotic. "This is a major achievement," he told The Jerusalem Post Monday. "Not many companies are recognized by NASA as a technology leader." Ashkelon-based Seambiotic, founded in 2003, was the first company to use flue gas from coal-burning power stations as a source for carbon dioxide to cultivate microalgae. The nearby Israel Electric Corporation in Ashkelon serves as the source for carbon dioxide and water, which the company uses to cool its turbine. Seambiotic uses these waste products as a raw material to cultivate the microalgae, making it the cheapest method to harvest the organism. The research was previously conducted on a pilot level, but is now transitioning to a large, industrial size. "The whole idea is to make the process cheap," Menczel said. "NASA will develop theoretical models and we will adapt them on the field [in Ashkelon] and make it workable." Other methods for creating bio-fuel use corn and sugar as the main substances, which are agriculture products that compete at food prices. However, algae does not face these same price fluctuations, making it a more cost-efficient choice. As a result of the combined technology from the two groups, Menczel said, a more efficient way for the production of bio-fuel and food additives through microalgae could be found. NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the governmental agency's 10 field centers, focused on conducting basic-level research. The center works to develop technology and advance scientific research.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
April 30, 2015
Teva doubles down on Mylan, despite rejection