Iowa Governor Chet Culver was seeing green at the grand opening of the Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE) Algae Project Thursday in Shenandoah.
“This project here is an ideal of what this could mean not only to securing our energy future and helping fuel the world and lower emissions, but jobs in Iowa,” Culver said during the event held at the GPRE ethanol plant in Shenandoah. “It’s amazing what this could mean at a time when we really need economic development and job creation.”
“We are excited by the opportunities this technology offers to sequester the CO2 emitted at our ethanol plants,” said GPRE president and CEO Todd Becker. “Our plants have warm water, waste heat and C02 which provide a perfect environment for the BioProcessAlgae Grower Harvester technology to be deployed. The algae produced have the potential to be used for advanced bio-fuel production, high quality animal feed, or as biomass for energy production, but our focus is solely on efficiently growing algae and sequestering carbon dioxide at this point.”
The Algae Project has been working to develop breakthrough technology for the mass production of algae. The oil extracted from the algae will be used to create biodiesel. With their anticipated 200 tons per acre per year and an oil extraction rate of 30%, the goal is to produce 5.8 million gallons of biodiesel and 51,000 tons of high protein meal product per year. With the oil extraction, the protein meal product would be fed to poultry and swine. GPRE received $2 million from the Iowa Power Fund and has $2 million in matching funds for the project