HOLCOMB, Kan., July 19 (UPI) -- Testing of a new coal-based
algae-to-biofuels process began at the Sunflower Integrated Bioenergy
Center in Kansas recently.
The technology could potentially be used to produce renewable fuels from
carbon dioxide, Sunflower said. The emissions from two of its existing
plants and its two proposed coal-fired plants would be used to make the
biofuel at Holcomb Station.
The first phase of Sunflower's Holcomb Expansion project is being
co-funded by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc.,
based in Westminster, Colo. The total project is expected to cost about
"This is an important first step in our efforts to demonstrate that
coal-based flue gas can be utilized for beneficial purposes," Earl
Watkins, Sunflower's president and chief executive officer, said in a
release. "I look forward to the day when this project is completed, and
we are facilitating the production of renewable energy that benefits our
agricultural producers in central and western Kansas."
The algae farm part of the process is being developed by GreenFuel
Technologies. Its laboratory will use the flue gas from Sunflower's
power plant to grow micro-algae in an enclosed environment. Testing is
being conducted to determine the specific strain of algae that will grow
"GreenFuel recently learned valuable production lessons at their Arizona
algae project that will benefit the Holcomb Expansion partners, so we
are pleased they have decided to focus their efforts on five projects
globally and provide us with their newest technology," said Clare
Gustin, Sunflower's vice president of member services and external affairs.
Following the algae farm, the rest of the project will consist of an
anaerobic digester, a biodiesel plant and dairy subsystems to complete
the ethanol plant.
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