Dear BEST members,
 
Algae Systems is introducing a demo scale pilot plant in Daphne, Alabama that creates carbon-negative biofuels. The plant takes large plastic bags and fills them with a mixture of CO2 and waste water from Daphne Utilities. The bags are then taken to the nearby Mobile Bay where they will float for about 4 days. During this time the sun will provide light and the waves in the bay will provide a natural mixing in the bags so that algae can grow. After the algae have had time to grow, they are harvested and dewatered. The dewatered algae are sent to the plant for “hydrothermal liquefaction”. The algae are heated at 550 degrees Fahrenheit to produce a crude oil like substance. The left over water obtained when dewatering the algae is now clean and can be reused. This truly sustainable and holistic approach currently treats 40,000 gallons of wastewater per acre per day and produces clean water and biofuels. The company hopes to raise between $80-100 million in order to develop a commercial scale plant. I look forward to tracking the progress of Algae Systems and hope the funding can be raised for a large scale plant to be built.
 
Katie Fehrenbacher. "An algae startup emerges with a pilot plant in Alabama ". Gigaom. August 19th 2014. 
 
Thanks for reading,
Brett Nelson
University Scholar 
Soil and Water Science Department