Nutrition

News 3403 views last update:7 Aug 2012

BioProcess Algae starts scaling up algae production (incl. video)

BioProcess Algae is close to finishing its phase II scale up of algae production and will soon be able to supply products to the food and feed industry.

“BioProcess Algae Phase II is making solid progress down the path of producing food, feed, and fuel,” said Todd Becker, President and Chief Executive Officer of joint venture partner Green Plains Renewable Energy in Iowa.
 
In the Green Plains Q2 financial results conference call he said: “We should finish up a 1.5 acre outdoor reactor system in the next 60 days, which can produce finished products to provide into various downstream markets.”
 
“Our early focus is on high value nutraceutical omega 3 oils and animal feed market, specifically fishmeal and poultry. In fact we are currently in poultry feed trials of two universities as we speak,” Becker said.
 
Scale up
The company will break ground on a 5acre (2 ha) farm this autumn at their Shenandoah, Iowa ethanol plan and complete the construction in the spring of 2012.
 
“We actually believe that those farms will be profitable, can’t comment on what their level will be, but we are hoping that that’s the case based on kind of early indications of the high value products,” Becker said.
 
Once the 5-acre farm is completed a decision will be made on the complete scale build out to 300 or 400 acres (120-160 ha), which will BioProcess Algae commercial quantities of algae to sell into the market.
 
Besides the human food sector Green Plains also is seeking for the animal feed market. “Moving into animal feed markets, we’re focused on the fish meal markets, where we believe it will compete and down into poultry market and finally into the fuel markets,” Becker adds.
 
“At all those levels, we believe with the technology as we’ve been building out that there is a path to profitability,” Becker ends.
 
Joint venture
BioProcess Algae, founded in November 2008, is a joint venture to commercialize algae production between Green Plains (US’4th largest ethanol producer), filter specialist Clarcor Inc., water treatment company BioProcessH2O and renewable energy group NTR.
 
The company developed its patented Grower Harvester technology and is currently producing algae with its commercial scale bioreactors. The recently completed Phase II 370 m2 facility houses the Grower Harvester bioreactors which were successfully started up in January 2011.
 
These Phase II bioreactors at the project site are 20 times larger than the successful Phase I bioreactors deployed in October 2009.
 
Products
The algae grown and harvested from the Phase II bioreactors have the potential to be used for advanced bio-fuel production, high quality animal feed, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and/or as biomass for energy production.
 
A benefit from the co-location of the algae project is the ability to use the carbon dioxide that is a by-product of the ethanol production process.
 
Watch the BioProcess Algae video

 

BioProcess Algae from Green Plains on Vimeo.

Photo

Dick Ziggers

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