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A first step towards having algae as a new source of transport fuel was launched today at Manildra’s Shoalhaven ethanol plant at Nowra, NSW.

The algae-to-biofuels “showcase” plant will draw carbon dioxide from ethanol fermentation and run it through an enclosed system developed by Australian company Algae-Tec to feed algae growth at an industrial scale.

The Algae-Tec system uses shipping containers as an algae production module, with one shipping container – the initial size of the Shoalhaven showcase system – capable of producing 250 tonnes of algae a year.

“The rest is plumbing,” said Algae-Tec’s executive chairman, Roger Stroud.

Mr Stroud said a commercial operation would start at around 400 containers, and from there could be built up to an optimum size at 2000 containers.

At that scale, Mr Stroud estimates that an Algae-Tec plant would be capable of producing 500,000 tonnes of feedstock, or 3.5 million barrels of refinable oil a year. Read More

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