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GreenFuel Technologies Corporation



GreenFuel Technologies Corporation (GFT) is a startup that has developed a process of growing algae using emissions from fossil fuel combustion and solar panels, mainly to produce biofuel from algae.

It is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Additional recommended knowledge

Contents

History

The GFT President, Chief Technology Officer and the inventor of a newly patented system for growing pollution-digesting algae inexpensively on an industrial scale is Isaac Berzin, who founded the company in April, 2001.

A beta emission reduction system was installed at an MIT cogeneration facility in 2004 and after performing beyond expectations was moved to a larger power plant in fall 2005. The system has since been relocated to Naboomspruit, South Africa where it has been coupled with a biodiesel reactor made by Green Star Products Inc.. Other projects exist in Arizona, Massachusetts and New York. Although the algal biomass produced by the process consists of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates which could be used to produce a variety of products, GFT seems to be focusing on biofuel products.

Arizona Public Service Company (APS) and its partner GreenFuel Technologies will attempt to replicate their success of creating biofuels from algae grown using carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from a power plant.

Principal Investors

  • Access Private Equity
  • Draper Fisher Jurvetson
  • Polaris Venture Partners

Technology

Known as Emissions-to-BiofuelsTM, the process could use a photosynthetic bioreactor supplied with exhaust gasses from a fossil fuel combustion source to grow algae. As smokestack emissions are delivered to the algae bioreactor, carbon dioxide and other pollutants are absorbed and utilized by the algae to grow at an exponential rate. Once harvested, the algae is processed to produce a variety of solids such as protein and bioplastics, gasses such as methane, and biofuels such as ethanol and bioDiesel.

Despite its promise, there have been questions with respect to the viability of this technology. A Case Study on GreenFuel has argued that its claims contradict the Laws of Thermodynamics.[1] [2] In July of 2007 the company laid off half of its employees and changed the CEO, amidst setbacks in its Arizona facility[3]. Furthermore, its South African licensee, DeBeers (no relation to the diamond conglomerate) has been exposed as a scam by the investigative TV program Carte Blanche. [4] Scientific experts who were sceptical about GreenFuel and its technology have been threatened by the company's law firm.[5]

Application

Sources of carbon rich exhaust include manufacturing facilities and electricity generation plants, especially those which burn coal. Once the algal biomass is harvested and processed, the resulting fuel may be sold for additional revenue or utilized on-site.

Benefits

The biofuel yield using the GreenFuel technique is 30 times higher per hectare compared to the yield of oil derived from conventional terrestrial crops. Emissions of carbon dioxide are reduced by 40% and emissions of oxides of nitrogen are reduced by up to 85%. Plant retrofits can be made with minimal disruption to existing facilities.

Awards

  • 2006 Energy Emission Project of the Year. Platts Global Energy Awards.
  • 2006 Frost Sullivan Bio-based fuels technology Innovation Of The Year Award.
  • 2006 Red Herring.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.nanostring.net/Algae/CaseStudy.pdf
  2. ^ http://algae-thermodynamics.blogspot.com/
  3. ^ http://news.com.com/2100-11392-6194622.html?tag=yt
  4. ^ http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article.php?a_id=106770
  5. ^ http://www.outsidegc.com/
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "GreenFuel_Technologies_Corporation". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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