DFCast: The Biofuels Industry Gets Married

The biofuels industry got married when a first generation ethanol plant walked down the isle with a second generation algae plant in Shenandoah, Iowa. BioProcess Algae and Green Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE) tied the knot and celebrated their anniversary last month with the announcement that their first babies, a set of Grower Harvester bioreactors, went online. This marked the last phase into adulthood – the algae plant is months away from commercial scale production.

Tim Burns, CEO of BioProcess Algae said this project is about both co-location opportunities as well as adding value to carbon. The algae plant will utilize the waste streams of the ethanol plant including waste nutrients and waste water. In addition, the algae plant uses the carbon dioxide from the corn ethanol plant to grow and thrive. Suddenly a product produced from a first generation ethanol plant with what amounts to negative value now has a tremendous positive value to a second generation plant. When people figure out that carbon from things such as a first generation ethanol plant has value, others will be on board, said Burns.

Years ago, Todd Becker, CEO of Green Plains Renewable Energy, said his company began looking for emerging technologies that could add value to his plant. These included adding things such as inedible corn oil extraction technology, but also the partnership with a second generation biorefinery that could utilize their plant’s waste streams. His company recognized the incredible partnership before any others and this fall his company along with BioProcess Algae will be building their algae farm, the last phase before they begin to produce commercial scale algae biofuels.

In the future, Becker and Burns both believe that every first generation biofuel plant will marry a second generation technology and with these marriages, the biofuels industry will rise to the challenge of producing billions upon billions of gallons of domestic renewable energy for America.

Learn more about the first biofuel marriage here: Domestic Fuel Cast

You can also subscribe to the DomesticFuel Cast here.

4 thoughts on “DFCast: The Biofuels Industry Gets Married

  1. Green Plains Renewable Energy uses the GreenShift Corporation method of Corn Oil Extraction (not POET). GreenShift Corn Oil Extraction systems are currently the highest yielding extractors on the market, and will be discussed in the upcoming renewable fuels expo in Indiana (June/2011).

  2. I have been trying to keep up to date with all the new information about biofuels and renewable resources. During this process, I have seen a number of Universities getting (50 +) millions of dollars in government grants to set up biofuels research centers. There doesn’t seem to be any end to these grants, or any federal organizational leadership to keep two or more universities from doing research on the same topics. So I am wondering just how many biofuels research centers does our nation really need? With all the debates over budget cuts going on in congress right now, how is it that multi million dollar grants keep going out to all these universities? And just how many actual new discoveries are actually coming as a result of all this research? As a nation, are we really getting our monies worth? Is there any other way we can get more bang for our bucks? I don’t have an answer to ant of these questions. Perhaps some of your readers do.

  3. Pingback: Green Plains Builds Business - Domestic Fuel

  4. Pingback: GPRE Shenandoah Ethanol Plant Marks 5 Years - Domestic Fuel