Engineering News

JV To Build Algae To Biofuel Plant In Israel
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Inventure Chemical has announced that it has entered into a joint venture with Seambiotic Ltd. (based in Tel Aviv, Israel) to construct a pilot commercial biofuel plant in Israel, using algae created from CO2 emissions as feedstock. The plant will utilize high-yield oil-rich algae strains that Seambiotic has developed and grown in its open pond system coupled with Inventure's patent-pending conversion processes to produce ethanol, biodiesel and other value-added chemicals.

"This is a milestone for Inventure, and for the next generation of biofuels," said Mark Tegen, Inventure's chief executive officer and co-founder. "Seambiotic has been extremely successful in its algae-based CO2 sequestering project with Israeli Electric Corporation, which proves the viability of their model. Combining their algae production technology with our algae to biofuel conversion process will close the loop."

"We reviewed many potential processes for converting our algae strains to biofuel," said Prof. Ami Ben-Amotz, chief scientific adviser to Seambiotic. "In numerous tests we've conducted with Inventure at their Seattle plant, we've been consistently pleased with the quality of the biofuel resulting from their process. Inventure's technology will enable us to maximize the biofuel yield from our algae."

"Our joint venture with Inventure will illustrate not only the technological capabilities of our combined processes, but also the validity of the CO2 to algae to biofuel model as a means for coal-fired power generators to meet CO2 reduction mandates," said Amnon Bechar, Seambiotic's chief executive officer. "The biofuel that's created from algae can be used in the power generator's operations, or sold on the open market to create a new revenue stream. Either way, this model can pay for the infrastructure necessary to put in place."

Seambiotic was founded in 2003 to grow and process marine microalgae using a revolutionary ecologically based environmental system. Seambiotic's technology and unique know-how can be profitably exploited in two major areas: Biofuel and Omega 3 Oil. For the last five years, the company has carried out an extensive R&D pilot study at the Israeli Electric Corporation's power station near the city Ashkelon, Israel. Throughout the study, new and advanced research methods have been developed for cultivation of various species of marine microalgae using the power station's CO2 emissions released directly from their smokestacks and which pass through pipelines directly to Seambiotic's open ponds. The pilot plant has yielded an impressive concentration of algae containing a high percentage of lipids and carbohydrates in a very short term, promoting the production of bio-fuel.

Inventure Chemical was formed to develop and commercialize feedstock conversion technologies for biofuel producers. The company is applying patent pending processes to a variety of second generation feedstocks, including algae and various cellulosic materials, to create biodiesel and ethanol. By using these low-cost/high-yield feedstocks, biofuel producers will be positioned to compete with petroleum fuel producers on the free market, independent of any subsidies or mandates. The company's expertise includes both process conversion and plant design/construction. Inventure currently operates a biodiesel and ethanol R&D production site in Seattle, Washington where it is currently producing biodiesel and ethanol from algae sourced from various suppliers, including Seambiotic. Using algae feedstock, the company has produced biodiesel that meets stringent American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Inventure is in the final stages of closing its second round of private financing.

Source: Inventure Chemical

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