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From flu-gas to algae-biomass

Oct 28, 2008 - renewableenergyfocus.com

MADRID, SPAIN and CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, USA, October 28, 2008. GreenFuel Technologies Corporation and renewables management company Aurantia are now in the second phase of their joint project to develop and scale algae farming technologies in the Iberian Peninsula.

Initiated in December 2007 at the Holcim cement plant near Jerez, Spain, the project’s goal is to demonstrate that industrial CO2 emissions can be economically recycled to grow algae for use in high-value feeds, foods and fuels.

The Aurantia-GreenFuel project consists of a series of development stages that could eventually scale to 100 hectares of algae greenhouses producing 25,000 tons of algae biomass per year. Aurantia anticipates the project will be eligible for subsidies from both regional authorities and the central government which will partially offset its development costs.

“After evaluating the key players in the algae industry, there is no question that GreenFuel is leading the race to grow algae at scale using industrial greenhouse gas emissions,” says Rafael Naranjo, CEO and Chairman of the Aurantia Group. “We believe algae hold great promise for Spain as they can be harvested daily, rather than seasonally, use water very efficiently and do not require arable land like other crops.”

The project began with a Field Assessment Unit (FAU) from GreenFuel for the construction, delivery, and initial operation, which has successfully grown a variety of naturally occurring algae strains in the Jerez sunshine using Holcim flue gases. The second phase of the project commenced with the inoculation and subsequent harvests of a 100m² prototype vertical thin-film algae-solar bioreactor.

The next phase of the Aurantia-GreenFuel project at Holcim will be the construction of a 1,000m² algae greenhouse and harvesting facilities adjacent to the cement plant.

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