Austrian algae biofuel-pilot plant to be built in Brazil
The state of Pernambuco in Brazil’s northeast is going to become home to the country’s first algal biomass plant, thanks to an agreement between See Algae Technology (SAT), an Austrian developer of equipment for the commercial production of algae, and JB, one of Brazil’s leading ethanol producers. The plant will produce algal biomass from natural and genetically modified strains of algae.
So far, the cost of producing algae has been the biggest obstacle to bringing algae-based fuel to the market, but SAT has introduced a technology that has brought the price down to about that of ethanol – $0.40 – $0.50 per liter. This is possible because production has been transferred from open air ponds to reactors of up to five meters in height, protecting algae from environmental interference…
The new plant will make the most of algae’s potential. One of the products to come out of it will be feedstock for animals, providing an alternative to soybeans. The process also yields algal lipids that can be used to make biodiesel and biochemicals. Algae are also a source of omega-3. As overfishing has become a serious environmental concern, algae are a more environmentally-friendly source of this nutrient, which is commonly sold as a supplement.
Pilot plant operation; but, you can figure that cost will diminish greatly when they ramp up to serious production.