Algae-based Biofuel – Vertigro Bioreactor

On the topic of biofuel I have come across a slightly different approach in the race to develop the “best” biofuel production system. Valcent Products Inc, USA have applied their high density vertical growing technology (Vertigro) to the field of biofuels – High Density Vertical Bioreactor. These bio-reactors are tailored to grow a species of algae that yields a large volume of high grade vegetable oil, which is very suitable for blending with diesel to create biodiesel.

These website has a great write up about this technology with public comments to add.

http://thefraserdomain.typepad.com/energy/2006/10/vertigro_algae_.html

A couple of lines from it:

  • algae that consume up to 90% of their weight with C02
  • Approximately 50% of the dry weight of the algae is an oil suitable for biofuel blending
  • 4,000 barrels oil per acre, per year, at an estimated cost of $20 per barrel are achievable on a commercial scale.
  • Typically corn will yield up to one-half a barrel of oil per acre per year at considerably higher cost
  • It does not require fertile land or large amounts of water as traditional crops do. They have recently built a 2.5million pilot plant in Texas.
  • Seem the algae sequester CO2 – this technology also had implications for the Carbon Credit market.
  • The algal oil derived also has other applications in food ingredients, pharmaceutical, and health and beauty products

http://www.valcent.net/s/Ecotech.asp?ReportID=182039

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