Algae Biodiesel Company Opens First Large Greenhouse
October 21, 2008 11:10 AM
comment(s) - last by
GreenFuel experimented with growing algae in tubes and bags at its Arizona pilot farm. While most of its competitors are sticking to these methods, GreenFuels has developed a closely-guarded greenhouse technologies which grows algae at higher yields and an automated system to harvest the crop. It will be debutting this setup at a commercial scale plant in Spain, to be complete in 2011.
Algae company's harvest will make biodiesel, nutritious livestock feed
Many in the alternative fuels industry agree that algae is where the mid-range future of the biodiesel industry lies. While fuels such as ethanol and
may prevail in the short term, algae is seen as the final stepping stone before full synthetic gasoline production. This value is due to
algae's ability to grow rich long chain hydrocarbons
. When algae is genetically engineered, it can produce large amounts of oil that is essentially diesel grade.
The big question with algae tech is not whether it will arrive, but when it will arrive.
had previously followed Cambridge, Mass. based GreenFuel Technologies'
effort to bring its specially bred algae to the market
. The company, founded by MIT graduates, had built a pilot farm in Arizona, previously. By growing algae in tubes, it found that algae would get optimal sun exposure. Its only problem was that it grew too much algae, blocking out light, and eventually killing part of the crop.
Now GreenFuel is taking its experience and has become the first algae company to announce a profitable business deal and the construction of a commercial scale growth facility. Spain's Aurantia, a leading alternative energy investment firm, has agreed to pay GreenFuels $92M to build a 100 hectacre (250 acre) algae farm. The farm will produce 25,000 tons of biomass yearly.
GreenFuel, which recently celebrated its 7th anniversary, already has a 100 square-meter prototype greenhouse operating at the site in Spain. GreenFuel ditched the growing tubes, opting for a top-secret tubeless proprietary growing process, one which includes automated harvesting. Thus far the company has declined to reveal the secretive workings of this new design.
It has, however, announced its intention to scale the production up quickly. It plans to have a 1,000 square-meter installation online by the end of the year. The full farm is scheduled to be completed by 2011.
The plant will take carbon dioxide emissions from the nearby Holcim cement plant near Jerez, Spain and use it to increase algae yields. This will cut down on Holcim cement plant near Jerez, Spain, almost 10 percent of the factory's output. This will help the factory meet tougher emissions standards.
The developers are in the process of selecting which strains of algae to grow. Certain strains are optimized for biodiesel production; bred to produce extra oil. Other strains produce extra nutrients like protein and make for more nutritious animal feed.
CEO Simon Upfill-Brown acknowledges that the field is full of overly optimistic visions, but insists his company is firmly grounded in reality and a series of successful trials. He states, "Some people are making clearly outrageous claims. We're at the stage where we can say we are pretty comfortable and very optimistic that we're getting all the way there in phases."
One trouble spot for the upcoming farm is falling gas prices. With gas low, it may be harder for the farm's biodiesel production to be economically competitive. This was cited as the resaon for rival Imperium Renewables' delay of its plan to launch a smaller algae farm in Hawaii.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: ...at least partial fail...
10/21/2008 1:35:22 PM
Why are you so hostile, take a deep breath and relax. He wasn't pretending to know everything. Just the opposite most of his comment was presented as questions open for debate/comment (weird place for it too huh in the comments section /sarcasm). He simply stated a concern about the logistics involved in irrigation in a desert environment.
A simple "according to the FAQ" it is a closed system would have sufficed you don't have to be a prick.
Very few people read every link to every outside source on every page. In fact you don't or you would not be back here so soon trolling around, because I'm sure there are links on greenfuelonline.com that, by your standard you should read and links on those sub pages that you should read, and links on those sub sub pages you should read. So follow your own advice and we'll see you back in 200 years or so when your done with all that.
"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
Inside The Magic Box -- How Coskata Will Deliver $1/Gallon Ethanol
October 14, 2008, 3:51 PM
A Green Harvest -- Teams Seek to Optimize Algae to Oil Process
August 21, 2008, 9:15 AM
Algae May Solve Ethanol vs. Gas Dilemma
May 2, 2008, 2:33 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Researchers Hope to Find "Exotic" Lifeforms Inside Crater of Dinosaur Killing Meteor
April 14, 2015, 8:47 PM
Mathematician's Sociological Formulation May Explain the "Hipster Paradox"
April 14, 2015, 1:13 PM
Cool Science Video: This is What a McDonald's Burger Looks Like in Your Stomach
April 7, 2015, 1:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Exclusive: If Intel and Micron's "Xpoint" is 3D Phase Change Memory, Boy Did They Patent It
July 29, 2015, 10:52 PM
Windows 10 to Get New Features in October Service Release 2 (SR2)
July 30, 2015, 5:50 PM
Quick Note: Apple Watch to Get Brick and Mortar Boost From Best Buy
July 27, 2015, 3:00 PM
Cortana Help Button is Coming Soon for $23
July 30, 2015, 5:07 PM
As iPad Sales Wane and Watch Flops, iPhone Saves Apple's Profit With Its Heroics
July 22, 2015, 6:13 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information