Friday, April 04, 2008

Iowa ethanol facility wants to grow algae for biodiesel production

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. in Shenendoah, Iowa has applied for a grant to help with an algae to biofuels pilot project. Research has already shown that huge yields per acre of mainly biodiesel and some ethanol can be had from algae grown in water. Why do this next to an ethanol biorefinery? The carbon dioxide by-product from making ethanol can be used to help the algae grow faster--a very nice symbiotic relationship. The local newspaper has very good in-depth article here:
SW Iowa News - 'Green scum' at GPRE plant could be key to energy crisis: "'What's exciting is it's taking waste products from an ethanol plant, like water and carbon dioxide, 148,000 tons of which is dispensed into the air as a green house gas,' said Connell. 'They'll use that to produce massive amounts of algae.

'To put it in prospective, if you had a diesel car, one acre of algae would allow you to drive that car 370,000 miles, compared to about 2,400 miles on soybean oil, which is the basis for most bio-diesel.'"

No comments: