Algae Biodiesel Plant to be Built in Massachusetts

John Davis

PlanktonA one-million-gallon-a-year algae-biodiesel plant could soon become a reality for Massachusetts with some help from the state and federal governments.

Biomass Magazine reports
that Plankton Power, the maker of algae-based biodiesel, and the Regional Technology Development Corp. of Cape Cod, Mass. are working together to build a pilot-scale algae-based biodiesel production facility in Bourne, Mass.

Together with the Massachusetts National Guard, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Marine Biological Laboratory and Cape Cod Commission, the groups recently submitted a $20 million project proposal to the U.S. DOE that would leverage $4 million in private funding to construct the facility.

Curtis Felix, CEO of Plankton Power, told Biomass Magazine the company will provide its own algae growth technology, which is based on cold saltwater algae species grown in closed ponds, and will have substantial ongoing support from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole.

The Cape Cod Algae Biorefinery will be located on five acres on the Massachusetts Military Reservation in Bourne. Felix said the location is ideal for the project, because of its on-site wastewater treatment plant, which will provide an excellent source of nutrients for the algae, and Massachusetts Military Reservation’s close proximity to the Cape Cod Canal, which would provide a convenient source of seawater and a renewable thermal energy source for algal growth and temperature control.

The article goes on to say that the one million gallons a year of biodiesel the plant could make might be enough for all of Cape Cod’s biodiesel needs. Officials hope to start contruction next summer.

algae, Biodiesel