Solix claims cut the costs of growing algae by 90-95%
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Algae in bioreactors – clear, water-filled chambers that lets the microorganisms absorb sunlight – need carbon dioxide to feed and grow. Typically, the carbon dioxide is pumped in from a smokestack at a nearby power plant. Injecting that CO2 and circulating it around the tank, however, requires quite a bit of energy, which in turn adds cost.The Durango, Colo.-based company, which can trace its lineage, in part, back to the algae projects at the National Resources Energy Lab in the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s, says it has come up with a way to lets CO2 essentially enter and swirl inside the tank in a relatively passive manner.
As a result, Solix claims that it has cut the costs of growing algae by around 90 percent to 95 percent. Solix’s bioreactors are relatively flat plates that increase the amount of light that can be absorbed by the algae.
“Bubbling in CO2. That is where a large part of the energy costs come from,” Henston said in an interview. “We understand where the big buttons are.”