Gilbert, Arizona [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Diversified Energy Corp. has formed a partnership and licensing arrangement for a patent pending, algae production system invented by XL Renewables, Inc. Under an exclusive worldwide license, Diversified Energy will provide systems engineering and project management to commercialize the technology.
According to the companies, the new technology, called Simgae™, uses common agriculture and irrigation components to produce algae at a reduced cost. The system uses unique thin walled polyethylene tubing, called Algae Biotape®, similar to conventional drip irrigation tubes.
The patent pending biotape is laid out in parallel across a field. Under pressure, water containing the necessary nutrients and a small fraction of algae are slowly introduced into the biotape. Carbon dioxide is injected periodically and after roughly 24 hours the flow leaves the Algae Biotape with a markedly greater concentration of algae than was started.
All the supporting hardware components and processes involved in Simgae are direct applications from the agriculture industry. Re-use of these practices avoids the need for expensive and complex hardware and costly installation and maintenance.
The design is expected to provide an annual algae yield of 100 – 200 dry tons per acre. Capital costs are expected to be approximately $45k – $60k and profitable oil production costs are estimated at only $0.08 – $0.12/pound. These oil costs compare to recent market prices of feedstock oils anywhere from $0.25 – $0.44/pound.
Jeff Hassannia, Vice President of Business Development for Diversified Energy, commented, “The renewable fuels industry is in dire need of feedstock oils that are low priced and readily available. Algae is the perfect solution to this challenge, while at the same time helping to clean up the environment.”
The team is currently conducting a demonstration of the technology in Casa Grande, Arizona. Continued testing and system optimization is expected to occur through 2008.