Aviation’s Declan Ryan invests in Irish algae-based fuels venture

January 28, 2013 |

In Ireland, former Ryanair CEO Declan Ryan has joined investors in backing Aer Sustainable Energy Ltd, better known as Aer Bio. He was a director of Ryanair Holdings from August 1986 until 2004, holding several senior management positions including CEO.

The Ireland-based group, AER Sustainable Energy was set up in 2006, applied for license to supply ethanol into the Irish market, and by 2010 was supplying up to 25 percent.

The company reinvested a good portion of its ethanol profits with University of Galway R&D enzyme technology, under development since 2000 for 3G sustainable algae. Funded research, and had a technology to extract oil and sugars from high yielding strain.

It’s billed as a cheap, efficient extraction process from a company that’s “ruthlessly focused on a technology, elegant and simple, that breaks down the cell wall to release the oils and sugars,” according at AER Bio CEO Donal Mac Nioclais.

“The Idea of trying enzymatic hydrolysis with algae is not new, but this is a modified organism, specifically optimized for this problem – to lyse the cell wall. Isn’t that the story of technology? First you have the generics, then the customized solutions.” Mac Nioclais said that “we’re not competing with the likes of Novozymes, we’re targeted.” The company remains in stealth mode as far as its customer list, saying only that it is “working with multiple large international companies on contract R&D to develop solutions for various strains.”

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Category: International

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