Saturday, 31 July 2010

Contaminated Beaches - Problem Continues - Wall Street Journal Report - Points to Need for BioLargo's Technology Solution - Nature's Best Solution




July 29, 2010

Beach Water Quality Suffers

Heading to the beach before the end of summer? That water might not be as safe as you think it is.

The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused 2,239 days of closures, advisories and notices for beaches in that region so far this year.

In addition, there were 18,682 days of closures and advisories due to pollution and water contamination in 2009 for fresh- and salt-water beaches across the country. That's according to the 20th annual beach-water-quality report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental nonprofit.

Alamy

A man walks on the beach at dawn in Bethany Beach, Del.

"The findings this year demonstrate a persistent problem at many beaches across the country," says David Beckman, NRDC's water program director. Even before the oil spill, "seven percent of the water-quality samples taken last year flunked the national health standard."

Water contaminated with oil, sewage and storm run-off can cause illnesses, including stomach flu, dysentery, hepatitis, skin rashes and respiratory ailments, especially in children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

Even if you stay out of the water, breathing in the spray could still potentially lead to illness, Mr. Beckman says.

Government data used in the NRDC report show an 8% decrease in 2009 in closure and advisory days at beaches nationwide from 2008. The NRDC attributes this in part to a decrease in funding for water monitoring in Southern California (thus potentially underreporting what's there), as well as dry conditions in Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The Great Lakes region had the most contaminated beach water last year for the fifth year in a row, with 13% of water samples violating public-health standards. The Southeast and Delmarva Peninsula was the cleanest, with 3% of samples contaminated, according to the report.

Individual states that performed poorly last year include Louisiana, with 25% of samples failing health standards before the oil spill, Rhode Island with 20% of samples failing and Illinois with a 16% rate of failure. The least-contaminated were New Hampshire with 1%, Delaware with 2% and Oregon with 2%.

The government's water-quality test consists of maximum allowable densities of bacteria—enterococcus and E.coli—associated with fecal matter in 100 milliliters of water.

The report also used a five-star rating system for 200 of the most-popular beaches in the U.S. It evaluates beach-water quality, how often officials monitor water quality and whether the public is sufficiently notified.

Some of the highest-rated individual beaches can be found in Minnesota, New Hampshire, and California.

At the other end of the spectrum with a one-star rating for last year were seven beaches in Florida, a section of Nags Head in North Carolina, three beaches in Maine and in Mississippi, four in South Carolina, including Myrtle Beach, Narragansett Town Beach in Rhode Island, and at least five beaches in New York, including sections of Rockaway Beach and Coney Island.

Travelers can check the beach-water report at NRDC.org/beaches.

Guest Satisfaction

Revenue across the hotel industry may be declining, but guests reported they are happier about their hotel stays this year. Overall guest satisfaction at North American hotels has improved from 2009, according to J.D. Power and Associates' 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study released Tuesday.

A contributing factor to the increased satisfaction lies in lower room and occupancy rates, which can lead to faster check-in and check-out, as well as more-individualized service.

It is conventional wisdom in the industry that as rates rise, more guests complain or express their unhappiness. Therefore, hotels are focusing on ways to mitigate impending guest dissatisfaction.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company LLC had the highest overall satisfaction rating in the luxury segment and the study as a whole. "All luxury hotels have been offering improved value," says Simon Cooper, president of Ritz Carlton. "The key to our success was an increased focus on service."

Hilton Worldwide Inc.'s Hilton Garden Inn, which took the top spot in the mid-scale full-service segment for the eighth time in the past nine years, reminds guests of amenities like free wireless and remote printing. "We'll "push those things a little bit harder as the rate comes back up," says Adrian Kurre, Hilton Garden Inn's global brand head.

—Anna Prior



Sunday, 25 July 2010

BioLargo Opportunities in the Petroleum Industry- Sets Stage for Major Advancement - Contaminated Water Soutions




BioLargo Opportunities in the Petroleum Industry- Sets Stage for Major Advancement

Message from
Dennis P. Calvert - President & CEO - BioLargo, Inc.

We have been working for some time now in the equine & livestock industries featuring our (www.odornomore.com) products and working with BioLargo technology in stalls, barns, feed lots, chicken coups and, yes, even treating pig manure. We deliver unmatched, superior performance and customer value in odor and moisture control, improved animal health, cost effectiveness in both the care and maintenance of the animal's living environment and also in waste management. We are currently working with industry leaders developing commercial products for the industrial farming areas. We also have our sights set on partnership opportunities with leading pet industry companies. Stay tuned.


What does this have to do with the petroleum industry? If you can manage the technical challenges of liquid pig manure, (like we do) then contaminated water from other industries like the petroleum industry is the obvious.... 'well-to-tap'. (pun intended)


"BioLargo's technical advances are opening up business opportunities for our BioLargo technology in any industry that has to contend with contaminated water. "


The petroleum industry spends an average of $3 to $12 per barrel to dispose of produced water and the Department of Energy also informs us that globally the industry creates more than 50 billion barrels of produced water, creating an narrowly defined industry opportunity in excess of $4.3 billion and growing.


As you know, we added former CTO & Sr. VP of Halliburton and Executive Director of the Research Triangle Energy Consortium (RTEC), Vik Rao, PhD to the BioLargo team to help us bridge the gap between technology and business to prepare us to deliver powerful and valuable solutions to industry.


This is a very exciting time at BioLargo!


** Be sure and read the summary below-


Best Regards,


Dennis



BioLargo Opportunities in the Petroleum Industry


The petroleum industry has multiple settings in which water treatment is either essential, could get legislated, or simply is good business. Detailed below is a sampling of these and the BioLargo approaches to addressing them.


Fracturing Operations: A majority of gas wells in the US utilize hydraulic

fracturing to stimulate the production. A number of these are in drought areas and so access to fresh water is an issue and alternative sources must be found. Shale gas prospects, due to their location, generally do not have this issue. But they have issues with disposal of flow back water and produced water. In both cases the principal hurdles to re-use in fracturing operations are dissolved solids, bacteria and in some cases, radioactive elements. The bacteria in particular are pernicious. If returned to the reservoir, they are prone to multiply and produce H2S and other harmful species. The BioLargo platform technology CupriDyne(TM)-SAP is uniquely suited. It will eradicate bacteria and sop up heavy metals and radioactive elements. It does so by the controlled release of the powerful oxidant Iodine in stable molecular form. This environmentally friendly element does the job at small doses. The reaction products can easily be harvested. Another feature of the technology is that it simply combines with other needed water treatment steps such as filtration and desalination.


The Saline Aquifer Opportunity: In some areas water wells are being drilled to supply the fracturing operation. In a nod to the environmental issues service companies are making fracturing fluids increasingly tolerant of chlorides. They are already at 40,000 ppm and one can expect that shortly to extend to 80,000 ppm. This means that certain saline aquifers become fair game for becoming the water of opportunity. However, they could well have contaminants such as bacteria and metals that would need to be removed. In these cases the BioLargo solutions may well be all that are needed. In some cases competition for water withdrawals could completely go away, with far reaching consequences to community acceptance of gas production as a neighbor.


Heavy Oil Operations and Associated Refining: Heavy oil operations, both mining and SAGD, use vast quantities of water. In the latter case recycling is by and large practiced. In the former, the water waste is a major environmental issue. Both of these can be addressed with CupriDyne(TM)-SAP technology. Also, heavy oils often have a component of naphthenic acid. Refinery neutralization with KOH still yields a water waste with less than acceptable acid concentration. Naphthenic acid, as also all other carboxylic acids, are amenable to oxidation and removal with BioLargo technologies.



Produced Water: The world annually produces about 4 trillion gallons of water associated with petroleum production. When possible it is reinjected at a cost. Sometimes it is used for water floods, although bacterial action has been noted as reducing the efficacy. Clean up and use of this water represents an opportunity. Again, salinity is the principal hurdle. There could also be metals, some of them valuable if harvested. In a majority of instances one could expect bacteria removal to be important. This may especially be the case if the water is destined for non oilfield use. BioLargo technologies very effectively piggy back on desalination processes and would render the water free of bacteria and metals if any.



Tuesday, 13 July 2010

BioLargo Adds Dr. Vikram Rao, Former Halliburton CTO, to its Team



BioLargo Adds Dr. Vikram Rao,
Former Halliburton CTO, to its Team



La Mirada, Calif. (July 13, 2010) - BioLargo, Inc. (OTCBB: BLGO) announced today that former Halliburton Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Vikram Rao, has joined the BioLargo management team as a senior advisor. Rao will work closely with BioLargo to help capitalize on opportunities to commercialize its technology in the water and energy fields.

"I believe that the BioLargo technology presents a unique and cost effective solution for a number of big problems facing any industry that is dealing with contaminated water," stated Rao. "I look forward to working closely with the BioLargo team to help serve these important industries."

Having spent more than 30 years at Halliburton, most recently serving as senior vice president and chief technology officer, Rao now serves as the Executive Director of the Research Triangle Energy Consortium (RTEC). RTEC was formed in 2007 by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University and the RTI (Research Triangle Institute) International to highlight energy issues, better inform academics, industry, policy makers and investors, and conduct research and development to create sustainable sources of energy.

Rao is the author of more than 40 publications and has been awarded 24 patents in fields that include non-ferrous metal refining, alloy formulations, and oil and gas technology. Rao earned a doctorate degree and a master's in engineering from Stanford University, and holds a bachelor's degree in engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India. He also serves as a senior science advisor to Global Resource Corp. which features a patented microwave technology serving the oil and gas industry. He is the producer/writer of the Director's Blog. (A must read!)

"With more than 30 years of engineering experience and as the holder of more than 20 patents, Vik brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to BioLargo," stated Dennis P. Calvert, President & CEO. "Our recent technical advancements for contaminated water solutions have opened up several major commercial markets for BioLargo. With Vik's leadership, we can move swiftly and wisely to capitalize on and manage the significant opportunities ahead."

We were picked up for a feature article highlighting our Odor-No-More products also.

Please call me for a personal update. I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely,

Dennis P. Calvert

959-643-9540

Dennis.Calvert@BioLargo.com



** Note Safe Harbor Disclosures for Forward Looking Statements at the bottom of this blog.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Environmental Issues Explained - Contaminated Water Issues Featured in Natural Gas Industry - Points to BioLargo Technology Solution

Link Here

MIT Natural Gas Report Glosses Over Environmental Issues

JULY 9, 2010

Editor’s note: The energy exploration industry is the first to demand advanced water technology for economic reasons: water efficiency during hydraulic fracturing means cost savings. Advances in on-site water treatment for energy exploration will drive down costs for the technology to a point where it can be implemented in break-even or non-profitable situations, like personal housing and small to medium-size businesses, where demand will grow as current water infrastructure decays.Vikram Rao and peers will present on topics surrounding water use in energy exploration at an upcoming Artemis Project webinar.

MIT’s most recent report on energy is on the Future of Natural Gas, following similar reports on coal and nuclear energy. It is co-edited by Ernest Moniz and Tony Meggs. The latter recently left BP as CTO. As reported in Forbes recently, the report emphasizes the role of shale gas in enabling natural gas substitution of coal. The authors see this as a transitional strategy for a low carbon future. We agree with that and have expressed similar ideas in the Directors Blog.

However, the report is surprisingly shy about discussing the environmental issues seen as facing shale gas exploitation. While we believe these are indeed tractable, they merit much more discussion than they were given. Accordingly we repair some of that omission here.

The most significant issues center on three matters: fresh water withdrawals, flow back water and collateral issues, and produced water handling and disposal.

Fresh WaterFresh Water Withdrawals and Flow Back Water

Typical wells use between 3 and 5 million gallons per well. Industry practice has been to use fresh water as the base for fracturing fluid. The water that returns to the surface after the fracturing step is known as flow back water. Shale operations are unique in that only about a quarter to a third of the water returns, the rest staying in the formation. Also, the flow back water is usually more saline than the injected water. So, in principle it cannot be re-used.

Handling salinity is the first step to water conservation. The key is ability of the fracture water to tolerate some level of chlorides. Recent research has shown that not only is this possible, but that it can be beneficial. The chlorides actually stabilize the clay constituents of the shale and improve production, although companion chemicals such as friction reducers need to be modified. This has two possible implications to water withdrawals. One is that after some measure of treatment, the flow back water should be usable. But because all of it does not return, withdrawals for make-up water will be necessary. This is where the second implication comes in. Moderately saline water from another source could be used since salinity is tolerable. The most important implication of the foregoing is that flow back water could over time be completely re-used and this then ceases to be an issue with respect to discharge.

So, now let us discuss numbers. In current practice the tolerance for chlorides is likely about 40,000 ppm. Flow back water with higher salinity will need to be desalinated to some degree, or diluted by fresh water. In some parts of the country this may be viable. Another option could well be to use sea water, if that were to be the water of convenience. Sea water tends to contain around 30,000 ppm chlorides. That is already in the range of acceptability with the possible removal of some minor constituents. Finally saline aquifers are a potential source. These are in great abundance, with variable salinities. Saline water wells drilled as companion to the gas wells are very likely in areas where fresh water withdrawals compete with agriculture or other endeavors. In general, if the shale gas industry can utilize water unsuited to agriculture and human consumption, then it will be seen in a completely different light.

Produced WaterProduced Water

Water associated with the gas is produced at some stage of the recovery, usually towards the end of hydrocarbon production. In some cases early production occurs due to infiltration of the fractures into the underlying saline water body often present. Whether from connate water or the water layers below, produced water will be very saline, in part because of the age of the rock. Disposal of this water is a major issue, especially in New York and Pennsylvania and can cost upwards of $10 per barrel, when even possible. Concern regarding illegal discharge is high among the residents.

The treatment of produced water represents a significant business opportunity. Several outfits are developing forward and reverse osmosis schemes for desalination. Others are working on bacteria eradication, heavy metal removal and the like, using methods such as membrane filtration and ion exchange. Some of these are already in service on a limited basis.

Produced water offers the promise of being usable for make-up water after some modest treatment. The salinity may be directly tolerable but the bacteria would need to be removed prior to re-use. This is because many of these cause the production of hydrogen sulfide downhole, which makes the gas less valuable and causes corrosion in the equipment.

Drinking WaterContamination of Drinking Water

There have been anecdotal reports of well water contamination by gas, most recently sensationalized by a documentary. The popular literature ascribes two hypotheses to this phenomenon. One is the migration of fracturing operation cracks from the reservoir up to the water body. The other is gas leakage from the well.

Hydraulic fracture cracks will not propagate the significant distances to the aquifers. Were they inclined to do so, they would heal due to the earth closure stresses. In terms of distance, the closest fresh water aquifers are about 5000 ft. and 3000 ft. away, respectively, for the Barnett and the Marcellus. So this really is not likely.

Gas leakage from the well is preventable if the well is drilled and completed correctly. A fundamental feature of regulation has always been to design for isolation of fresh water in all petroleum exploitation, not just in the shale. Between the produced fluids and the aquifer lie two layers of steel encased in cement. The cementing operation is designed for preventing fluid migration. Tests are run to ensure competence of the cement job and remedies are available for shortcomings. At these shallow depths the operation is extremely straightforward and amenable to regulatory oversight.

Originally posted at Research Triangle Energy Consortium on the Director’s blog.

Monday, 5 July 2010

BioLargo Feature Article: Supply Chain Solutions - Highlights ET Horn and BioLargo Stategic Alliance

BioLargo Inc.

Featured in Supply Chain Solutions Magazine






Biolargo








SMELL OF SUCCESS


>

BioLargo Inc. helps pet owners love their furry friends even more with odor-control products.

Animal owners who face the challenge of providing a safe, clean living environment now have the answer to their problems withBioLargo Inc.’s Odor-No-More products.

Odor-No-More is a multi-line brand of products proven to eliminate odor and moisture within animal enclosures. The products have pro ven to reduce flies and promote better respiratory and foot health to create a cleaner, dryer, safer and healthier enclosure. Odor-No-More drastically reduces the amount of bedding consumed and replaced in animal enclosures, saving time and money.

The products are sprinkled in the bedding and litter box. The urine is quickly absorbed and the ammonia is rapidly eliminated, eliminating unpleasant odors. In turn, animals will not have to live in urine-soaked enclosures and the products promote healthier feet and skin. “It’s about odor and moisture control, and it applies to a multitude of industries,” President Dennis Calvert says.

Once the three-core products found the path to market, new markets began to open up. BioLargo found a strategic partner in E.T. Horn and agreed to work with the company as a nonexclusive contract manufacturer and master distributor in 2009.

“Their products fit our animal wellness profile and channels to market,” says E.T. Horn Vice President of Sales Lisa Alley-Zarkades. “BioLargo and its wholly-owned subsidiary Odor-No-More Inc. are innovators and leaders with new technology that we believe will revolutionize various waste management practices for animals.”

Odor-No-More received a Best New Product award in 2009 at SuperZoo, the pet industry’s largest show. Since then, the core products have been picked up by major suppliers and retail locations in addition to being used by veterinarians.

Natural Solutions
BioLargo is an intellectual property company that features the applications of its natural technologies. The company strives to harness and deliver what it calls “Nature’s Best Solution” – free-iodine – in a safe, efficient, environmentally sensitive and cost-effective manner. It works by combining micronutrient salts with liquid from any source to deliver free-iodine on demand, in controlled dosages, to balance efficacy of performance with concerns about toxicity.

“Our primary focus is to find commercial partners who want to make products better,” Calvert says. “Our technologies primarily serve as disinfectants and for odor and moisture control.”

BioLargo focuses on finding product applications for its patent-protected chemistry. The cost-effective, inorganic compounds are embedded in absorbent products that can be used for bed pads, diapers, surgical drapes, transportation packages for hazardous materials, wound dressings and bandages. The technology also can be delivered in just about any physical form – liquids, tablets, powders, sprays, washes and gas phase delivery systems – making it flexible for just about any need an industry may have.

“It is a rare find to have such a simple, environmentally-friendly and effective solution to so many applications for odor, contamination, cleaning and overall health improvement for animals and their owners,” Alley-Zarkades says.

“Iodine is nature’s cleanser for the Earth,” Calvert says. It’s a natural disinfectant. Our discovery isn’t iodine. The discovery is we can easily deliver and control the free-iodine for use in products. What we bring into the marketplace is our natural chemistry that is safe and effective, non-staining and has no known acquired resistance capability.”

‘Culture of Collaboration’
The global financial crisis makes getting capital difficult, Calvert says. Another challenge is finding the best way to market its unique products. “These are two very common issues for a company like ours,” Calvert says. “Fortunately, our first commercial product focus and our strategic partnership with the ET Horn Company gave us the resources to push through and make things successful.

“The key is finding the right areas to focus on and make sure we found the right partner,” he adds. “Supply chain success and a culture of collaboration are critical.”

Like any new relationship, a company must anticipate the needs of the other party, Calvert explains. He describes partnerships as valuable assets in a strategy, such as the synergy between BioLargo and E.T. Horn. “We are thankful for what they do for us,” he says.

For E.T. Horn, the sentiment is mutual. “Since E.T. Horn is a cutting-edge technology and science-based raw material supplier, the relationship with BioLargo and Odor-No-More is a perfect match,” Alley-Zarkades says. “BioLargo has put an amazing investment into the science and technology market over the years.

“Plus, we understand each other very well,” she adds. “E.T. Horn is very scientifically-based with a high level of expertise in chemistry, scientific process and a technical sales approach across all our divisions. We are working hard to get the message to the industry, customers and channels that will help their BioLargo’s products expand their presence within main stream retail. Once an end-consumer sees the product perform, it is an immediate sale. There is simply nothing in the marketplace that can outperform these products.”


Official "Spokes-Horse" for Odor-No-More
Mini-Cooper greets a guest at America's Pet Expo

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