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Dow Chemicals and Algenol to promote Algae 11

When two companies concerned about greenhouse gases, global warming and its consequences work together, there can only be synergy.We will see this in the joint efforts of Dow Chemicals and Algenol.
The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) plans to work with Algenol Biofuels, Inc. to build and operate a pilot-scale algae-based integrated biorefinery that will convert CO2 into ethanol. The facility is planned to be located at Dow's Freeport, Texas site.
The innovative technology involved offers great promise in the battle to help slow, stop and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions," stated Andrew N. Liveris, Dow chairman and chief executive officer.
Dow will provide Algenol with access to a CO2 source for the biorefinery from a nearby Dow manufacturing facility. The CO2 will be supplied to the algae in the photobioreactors and will serve as the carbon source for the ethanol produced. The result is a CO2 capture process which converts industrially derived CO2 into more sustainable fuels and chemicals.
Dow?s interested in Algenol?s algae tech in order to use the ethanol produced as an ingredient for plastics to replace the use of natural gas.
Algenol has modified its algae so that it can produce ethanol under sunlight through photosynthesis, first by turning carbon dioxide and water into sugars, then by boosting and controlling the enzymes that synthesize those sugars into ethanol.
Another big difference for Algenol is that it doesn't have to harvest its algae to extract the ethanol, eliminating a step that has proved costly and complex for other algae-to-biofuel
Dow initially plans to use ethanol produced from the pilot plant as a feedstock for plastic (replacing natural gas), but Algenol eventually wants to use its process in coal-burning power plants. In that scenario, oxygen from the process could be used in the coal plant's combustion chamber to increase efficiency. Coal burned in oxygen makes exhaust that contains large amounts of CO2, which could go into the bioreactors to produce more algae.
Algenol's plant will employ 300 people and consume two tons of CO2 each day, or enough to produce 120 to 140 gallons of ethanol. If successful, it could raise the profile of cheap, non food-based biofuels.

Wed August 11 2010 08:19:42 AM by Veronica algae  |  ethanol  |  Dow Chemicals  |  Algenol 2764 views

Comments - 2

  • Arden wrote:
    Sat August 14 2010 12:52:01 PM

    Algenol has chosen to genetically enhance cyanobacteria, to convert carbon dioxide into ethanol using a process that doesn't require harvesting to collect the fuel."

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