Can It Really Be Called Carbon Sequestration? Aquaflow Bionomic to Use Power Plant Emissions to Grow Algae
photo: Aquaflow Bionomic Corp.
New Zealand's Aquaflow Bionomic Corp—one a a growing number of companies working on producing commercial quantities of algae-based biofuels—has announced a new partnership that it hopes will allow the firm to bring its algae biofuel to market more quickly.
In a press release, Aquaflow says that it will be partnering with UOP (formerly known as Universal Oil Products, and now owned by Honeywell) to work in two areas:Enhance Existing Methods + Use CO2 From Fossil Fuel Power Plants
1. Using existing UOP processes to enhance Aquaflow's method of converting wild algae, sourced from sewage treatment plants in Marlborough, New Zealand, into a biofuel that will "meet international standards".
2. To develop a carbon sequestration storage model for Aquaflow's algal oil production facilities. This will entail studying the feasibility of adding CO2 from an unspecified refinery or power plant to the wastewater stream to boost the productivity of wild algae production.
Aquaflow Joins Other Firms in Using Power Plant Emissions to Grow Algae
Using CO2 from nearby power plants is an idea that a number of other algae biofuel companies have tried: NRG Energy and Seambiotic are just two of the firms going down the fossil fuel emissions-to-algae path.
Emissions May Help Grow Algae, But...
Though I don't have the hard data on the net emissions of doing this, as the CO2 used to grow the algae will just be released again into the atmosphere when the algae biofuel is burned, perhaps calling this sort of thing carbon sequestration is a bit of a stretch. It may increase the algae yield, but may do little in regards to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the power plant.
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