more light on Pond

A tweet taking one to The Globe and Mail’s

Six Canadian companies shaping the future of clean energy” came through the twittersphere the other day.  Of interest here was the first company to be mentioned; Pond Biofuels.  I’ve thought about Pond before.  It is an interesting concept.  The Globe and Mail called it “a two-for-one environmental special”.  Namely, carbon dioxide is consumed and biofuel is produced.  With the article shining more light on Pond it is time to take a closer look. 

a first quote

“… of microalgae that grow at a ferocious rate when exposed to optimal conditions and LED lighting.”

This takes me back to my earlier look at Pond and the different levels of innovation or patenting.  At that time it was thought that Pond was looking at the optimization of the known basic process.  This seems to be confirmed here.  However, we also have to start thinking of the energy balance because they are using LED a.k.a artificial lighting.  With energy going into the system one has to ask how this compares to the energy coming out.  It is an important consideration.  Other biofuel ideas have gone to the wayside because there was insufficient net energy.  Here though the carbon dioxide consumption is an important part of the final “benefit” equation.

a second quote

“… two Canadian chemistry graduates, decided to take the U.S. findings and finish the job.”

Again I come back to my earlier thoughts.  If Pond does indeed “finish the job” one would anticipate IP around the developments that did the finishing.  There were 11 published patent applications at the USPTO then.  A check the other day found two more.  From these applications we can get an idea of about what they are thinking.  We are not able to see what is protected by Claims as the recent check did not locate any issued patents at the USPTO but, that will come with time.

For sure this is an interesting story.  It will be more interesting as it unfolds and we see how Pond is defining the legal fence around their tanks of algae.