Algae Power

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

HOLLAND, Mich. (AP) -- Algae grown from sewage could be used to produce biofuels, says a company seeking a $7 million state grant to help prove it.
Representatives of Bloomfield Hills-based Sequest LLC are considering Holland's wastewater and coal plant as a site for their project. It would divert carbon dioxide from the power plant and combine it with treated wastewater to grow algae.
The algae would be converted to biofuels and other uses.
Bob Truxell, the company's chief executive, said the technology could help transform the world's energy system.
"We think it's very economically feasible," Truxell told The Grand Rapids Press.
Four sites are under consideration, but Truxell said he likes Holland because of the proximity of the coal and wastewater plants and a planned Michigan State University research center.
"Later on, the algae strain will evolve and we will need the genetic help that is available at the research facility," Truxell said. "I personally am very excited about Holland. I hope we proceed there."
The company is seeking funds from a pool of $18 million in a proposal now before the Legislature. It comes from a program announced in January by Gov. Jennifer Granholm called Centers of Energy Excellence.
A Michigan State University official said the project is daunting but worth pursuing in a world worried about global warming and desperate for new fuel sources.
"Clearly there are lot of questions, but we have to balance those questions with a whole lot of potential," said Steven Pueppke, director of the university's Office of Biobased Technologies.


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