LiveFuels, Inc. hopes to make a renewable fuel using processed algae-fed fish.
The company–who develops renewable algae-based biofuels–has a test facility in Brownsville, TX. At the location they have 45 acres of open saltwater ponds which will be used for optimizing the algal production.
Most algae-to-biofuel companies are limited to monomcultures of algae, but LiveFuels plans to grow a mix of regional species in low-cost, open-water systems. The algae will be “harvested” with filter-feeding fish and other aquatic herbivores.
“Our new Brownsville facility allows us to explore a system-level solution for producing algal biofuels,” said LiveFuels CEO Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones. “By harnessing the power of natural systems, we hope to achieve what has eluded the biofuels community for decades–cost effectiveness, scalability, and sustainability.”
The company currently has 10 patents on harvesting algal biomass. Though, this might be the grossest…or tastiest depending on your perspective.
“Current approaches to generating algal-biofuels are resource intensive and face fundamental science and engineering hurdles,” said David Kingsbury, former chief program officer for the Science Program of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and chairman of the LiveFuels scientific advisory board. “LiveFuels’ approach is ingenious in its simplicity. By turning natural food chains into productive systems, LiveFuels eliminates many of the costs and risks plaguing other approaches to using algae for biofuels.”
The results of the Texas-based testing could expand to full-scale operation along the coast of Louisiana. Um, eww.