January 31, 2008

GSPI Completes Algae to Biodiesel Winter Demo Testing

Green Star Products, Inc. today announced that it has successfully completed Phase III for winter environmental testing of its hybrid algae production facility in Montana.

The GSPI hybrid algae production system is designed to provide a controlled algae growing environment at an affordable capital and maintenance cost, which has eluded engineers for more than three decades.

Press Release

There also is another press release regarding GSPI that came out today.

Today, Green Star Products, Inc. announced that it has acquired a license to utilize a breakthrough processing technology to convert algae biomass to feedstock oil and cellulose sugars for the production of biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol respectively.

The new process uses an efficient low-cost method to extract the oil and cellulose sugars from oil-bearing microalgae that eliminates the need to mechanically dry and press-extract the algae oil using traditional methods. The sugars from carbohydrate-rich cellulose and hemicellulose can be used to make a variety of products including ethanol and other high demand chemical products. The oil can be made into biodiesel and other products.

Press Release

Sounds like they are moving forward towards their goal of building a commercial sized algae production facility.


Dave said...

The whole algae to biodiesel seems to be very attractive to research groups, particularly due to the relative ease algae converts substrates into the usable products. Here at Iowa State we've got a group looking into the idea. I find it hard, however, to believe that algae production could be scaled up for the simple fact that it requires sunlight -- so to make it produce more you need to takeover more water area. Eventually you would need to use natural water sources to encompass the required area leading to the "dead-zone" effect. All-in-all, it's good that they're testing but I'd like to see some more results.

Michael A. Gregory said...

The early work focused on growing algae in open ponds or raceways, but the latest work involves using bioreactors. Bioreactors are series of clear plastic tubes that that grow the algae. Using this method lowers the amount of water lost to evaporation and eliminates the threat of the algae being invaded by bacteria and other algae species.

For an idea of what this system looks like here is a picture.


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