Thursday, May 20, 2010

Firm announces it will build 2nd largest U.S. algae factory to make biofuel, conduct research

Alltech, an animal-food-supplements company, has announced plans to build the nation's second largest algae factory in Kentucky to make biofuel and do research on new approaches for mitigating climate change. Alltech President Pearse Lyons made the announcement at the firm's 26th annual International Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium in its headquarters town of Lexington, Ky.

"One acre of algae can produce 5,000 gallons of biofuel per year, and one ton of algae can absorb two tons of carbon dioxide, converting it to oxygen and carbohydrates," Tom Eblen of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports, citing Lyons. The company, which primarily makes nutrition supplements for animals using natural ingredients, is based in Lexington. Lyons declined to announce the location of the facility because the deal is still being negotiated. (Read more)

In April, Alltech announced it had received a grant worth up to $30 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to build its "rural community biorefinery" in Springfield, Ky. The biorefinery, a separate facility from the algae factory, will "be one of the first in the United States to utilize cellulose, such as switch grass, corn cobs and corn stover, at raw material levels of up to 30 percent" to make "ethanol and other value-added products," says a news release. (Read more)

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