Tulare facility converts algae into biofuels

Tulare facility converts algae into biofuels

6:46 AM, 29th August 2012
Tulare facility converts algae into biofuels
Tubs hold algae that are made using carbon dioxide and other gases generated by fuel cells in Tulare. The oil in the algae can be made into low emitting jet fuel.

TULARE, US: A new facility at the Tulare County, US, converts moist algae into biofuels. The facility will use wastewater for power jets. Recently, the City of Tulare leased four acres next to its large wastewater treatment plant for the operation, which will use CO2 and other gases generated from the site’s adjacent fuel cells to grow the algae in large tubs of water. The lipids, or oils, the algae produces as it grows can then be extracted and refined for use as a low emitting jet fuel.

The plant is the joint venture of Pacific Algae Oil consisting of the nonprofit association Algae International Group and Huntington Beach-based Pacific Oil Products. According to David Gair, CEO, Pacific Oil, the facility is currently in a pilot-scale phase, with the capacity to produce around a half a million gallons of the fuel annually. But given the right equipment and enough gases, he said, as much as 6 million gallons a year could be pumped out each year.

With an expansion project completed in 2009, the facility, one of two wastewater treatment plants in Tulare, now treats 12 million gallons of day of industrial wastewater, primarily flowing in from six large milk processing facilities nearby. The plant is one of the largest in the nation, using a combination of biological processes, a dissolved air flotation unit, and six sequencing batch reactors to remove fats, oils, organics and other impurities.

© The Business Journal News



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