Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Algea from city waste. A common idea actually going forward.

In biofuels there are few unique ideas. What really constitutes a breakthrough (much like artistic projects) isn't the concept but finding a patron to move a project from the drawing board to demonstration.

Reuters UK reports a Dutch experiment going forward. Dutch biotechnology firm Ingrepro is the project developer moving waste streams into biomass.

"The waste of biomethane (biogas) plants has very rich nutrients left over. At the moment they just pump it to the river or throw it away -- but we say next to these biomethane plants you need to build algal ponds to grow biomass."

What I like about this is the co-locate with an existing methane recovery program. The fact that you already have an existing successful energy project sweetens the deal. In a future where CO2 off-set projects are going to be looking for easy to utilize methane to capture I see this as a nifty model to move algae projects forward as well.

So if the capital costs of a algae project are covered by an existing methane project with experienced technical staff capable of managing an algal operation that only leaves the cash value of monetizing the algae biomass. Ingrepro claims their market will be jet fuel.

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