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Chilean Scientists Produce Biodiesel From Microalgae which can Power Vehicles

"What is new about our process is the intent to produce this fuel from microalgae, which are microorganisms," researcher Carlos Saez told Reuters

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biodiesel from microalgae
A biochemist shows different types of microalgae for the study and manufacture of a biofuel in high displacement diesel engines for reducing emissions of gases and particulate matter in Santiago, Chile. VOA
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  • Experts from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses at Chile’s Catholic University said they had grown enough algae to fragment it and extract the oil which can be converted into biofuel.
  • Most of the world’s biodiesel, which reduces dependence on petroleum, is derived from soybean oil
  • The main challenge going forward would be to produce a sufficient volume of microalgae

Santiago, July 1, 2017: Biodiesel made from microalgae could power buses and trucks and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80 percent, Chilean scientists said, possibly curbing pollution in contaminated cities like Santiago.

Experts from the department of Chemical Engineering and Bioprocesses at Chile’s Catholic University said they had grown enough algae to fragment it and extract the oil which, after removing moisture and debris, can be converted into biofuel.

“What is new about our process is the intent to produce this fuel from microalgae, which are microorganisms,” researcher Carlos Saez told Reuters.

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Most of the world’s biodiesel, which reduces dependence on petroleum, is derived from soybean oil. It can also be made from animal fat, canola or palm oil.

Saez said a main challenge going forward would be to produce a sufficient volume of microalgae. A wide variety of fresh and salt water algaes are found in Chile, a South American nation with a long Pacific coast.

The scientists are trying to improve algae growing technology to ramp up production at a low cost using limited energy, Saez said. (VOA)

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Google to Invest Around $140mn to Expand its Data Center in Chile

The complex runs on renewable energy coming from El Romero solar plant, located in northern Chile's Atacama Desert

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Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay

Google will invest around $140 million to expand its data center in Chile, the company’s only infrastructure of its kind in Latin America, which houses the information of millions of its users, the tech giant announced on Wednesday.

The complex, built in the Santiago suburb of Quilicura, is part of a group of 15 data centers that store and transmit information generated by applications like Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Waze and Uber, Efe reported.

During an event in the Chilean capital, attended by President Sebastian Piñera, Google announced that it will triple the data center’s capacity, hiring around 1,000 people for the construction.

“With this investment, we are preparing for the future. We seek to improve the data center with this development, because our users will demand more and more information,” said Edgardo Frias, country manager of Google Chile.

Google
A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

The company confirmed that only a handful of employees will have access to the server room – the highly-secured heart of the complex.

The expansion comes six years after Google announced the creation of the data center with an initial investment of $150 million.

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“This expansion will mean improving our users’ experience. We seek to make technology more accessible and easier to use,” Frias said.

The complex runs on renewable energy coming from El Romero solar plant, located in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert. (IANS)