Would I put you on? It’s true, algae-based biofuels are being produced from CO2 emitted from smokstacks.
It’s happening through a company called GreenFuel, headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.
GreenFuel has been partnering with Arizona Public Service Company to create biofuels from algae grown using carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from a power plant. The companies successfully grew algae at APS’ Redhawk natural gas power plant in Arizona, and is moving their tests to a coal-fired power plant at Farmington, NM.
According to a release from APS, algae at Redhawk grew at levels 37 times higher than corn and 140 times higher than soybeans, which are now used to create biofuels.
According to GreenFuel,
“A single pass through the GreenFuel system significantly reduces carbon dioxide in the waste gas. Using the sun as a source of energy, algae convert the CO2 into valuable compounds. Growing up to 30 times faster than other terrestrial plants, algae are regularly harvested for conversion into biofuels, feed, or can be recycled back to the host facility. Recycling algae in a closed system reduces the need for fossil fuels”.
Company founder Isaac Berzin believes that,
“at commercial scale, he will cut capital costs enough to beat oil at $60 per barrel. Burning the algae fuel means the carbon has been used twice before being released, displacing greenhouse gas emissions from burning oil, and adding to the power company’s profitability when carbon is regulated.”
What a concept, creating biofuels from carbon dioxide and cleaning the air at the same time! There’s no need for potable water or fertile land, and the installation requires no retooling of existing facilities. In addition, operations at the site are not interrupted and there is no exposure to hazardous materials or other risks.
GreenFuel says it has successfully installed its systems at gas, coal and oil burning facilities.