Every now and then an amazing idea comes along. Even though I graduated with a major in marine botany, I must say that I didn’t think of this one! Here is a company that is producing microalgae (which grow like the crackers) in sealed plastic bags that are hung in desert areas and in which, due to being contained, conserve water and allow enrichment with CO2. If it is a good as it appears, this could be a great step forward in creating oils from algae.
“U.S.-based Valcent Products Inc. and Canadian Global Green Solutions Inc. are set to build a pilot facility to produce algae for biodiesel production. The duo claimed to have made a breakthrough with their Vertigo system, which could be used to mass produce the biodiesel feedstock cheaply in any part of the world.
Unlike the ‘open pond’ methods studied by the government, the new system uses tall, clear plastic bags, hung in rows in a greenhouse to breed algae. The bags, which are pumped with carbon dioxide and exposed to the sun, help the algae speed along photosynthesis.
Glen Kertz, CEO of Valcent, told local media the microorganisms can reproduce up to six times every 24 hours in this setting, yielding 100,000 gallons of algae oil from just one acre of land each year. (Read more)”