A Colorado company will break ground early next year on an algae farm that is intended to produce thousands of gallons of substitutes for gasoline and diesel at a rate per acre far higher than current biofuel projects.
Solix Biofuels, of Fort Collins, said on Monday that it had raised $15.5 million in capital and would begin with a five-acre plot to produce “biocrude.’’ That will in turn be shipped to an oil refinery in place of crude oil, according to Douglas R. Henston, the company chief executive.
Investors include the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, on whose reservation, near Durango, the farm will be located; the Valero Energy Corporation, the refinery operator; and Infield Capital, an investment fund.
Algae has held special appeal for renewable energy researchers — and some investors — because the organism readily converts sunlight and carbon dioxide into a hydrocarbon fuel, producing an oil that can harvested for use as biodiesel. And the more CO2 present, the faster the algae grows. That holds the promise of cleaner-burning fuels that simultaneously scrub CO2 from the atmosphere during their production.
Algae can also regenerate at a remarkable rate, doubling its volume in a matter of hours under the right conditions, and yielding far more of its body weight in oil than any biofuel feed stock currently in use.
I've said it before: we need to think of the CO2 in the atmosphere as a critical resource that's free for the taking - that way there will be a rush to get to it.
I gotta find out how to buy stock in this puppy.