An algal solution to emissions

Today will see the unveiling of a new technology designed to capture greenhouse emissions from coal and gas fired power stations.

A new technology designed for work on rapid, large scale CO2 emissions reduction from existing coal and gas fired power stations was unveiled today as a curtain raiser to three major trial installations along the east coast of Australia next year.

Algal synthesiser technology is designed to capture flue emissions at their source, harnessing waste greenhouse gases as growth promoting feedstock for conversion into oil-rich algal biomass for the production of oils suitable for plastics and transport fuel.

The waste can also be turned in to a protein rich stock feed for farm animals.

MBD Energy has partnered with an algal research team at James Cook University in North Queensland to develop a 5,000 square metre test facility capable of producing 14,000 litres of oil and 25,000 kilograms of algal meal from every 100 tonnes of CO2 consumed.

At today’s official opening of the facility, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said that with coal’s status as Australia’s biggest export, it makes sense for the country to attempt to supply viable and sustainable technologies as a solution to capturing, storing or recycling emissions.

“If captured CO2 can be recycled to be permanently stored in plastics, or to make large volumes of transport fuel and low methane emission stock feed for farm animals Australia and the world may be about to turn an important corner on being able to set and attain significant CO2 emissions reduction targets,” Bligh said.

The Premier also announced that MBD Energy will commence construction of a one hectare fully commercial algal synthesiser at Queensland’s Tarong Power Station.

This synthesiser will have the potential to grow by 2011 to an 80 hectare demonstration plant producing 11 million litres of oil for plastics and transport fuel and 25,000 tonnes of drought proof stockfeed for an expected private and government sector outlay of $25 million.

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