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Chilean Company to Invest in Algae Fuels

Algae Fuels, a corporate technology group in Chile, has created a biodiesel from microalgae in the Mejillones’ Pilot plant. This pioneering initiative was aimed at obtaining energy based on renewable and domestic sources, at the same time reducing CO2 emissions.

InnovaChile, one of their financial supporter has invested CLP 3.245million, which is equivalent to USD 6.7 million for the project, out of the total requirement of CLP 6.836 million .

The pilot plant will grow algae for five years and an assessment would be carried out to determine if the project is both cost-effective and productive. The need was to produce algae with high lipid levels, which could be converted into biodiesel.

According to Arturo Natho, Algae Fuels’ President, the two important aspects of the project were the industrial scale development of microalgal cultures; and also the efficient and cost-effective way of obtaining the biodiesel and its by-products. The company’s perception is that the optimal climatic conditions for the growth of microalgae are available and hence the project was bound to be successful.

The first phase comprises of exploring, isolating, purifying and selecting microalgae strains. First the algae would be gathered from the Sea, and then it would be studied in Santiago, to distinguish the most suitable and appropriate strains and then grown in domestic climatic conditions. After which the plants are shifted to the field laboratory in Mejillones where photosynthesis is accelerated due to the CO2 present in the chimney of the power generating plant.

The last stage would be subjecting the species to various chemical processes and then centrifuging it to get algal biomass. Finally it is dried in a special kiln and processed chemically. Then the biofuel can be utilized.
Mon December 13 2010 11:05:46 AM by Lucygreen algae  |  biodiesel  |  investment  |  algae-oil companies 1942 views
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