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GSPI and BTR to Build Commercial Algae-to-Biodiesel Facility

Green Star Products, Inc. and Biotech Research, Inc. (BTR) will build a 100-acre commercial algae facility in the Midwest, with field construction to begin in March 2008.

The 100-acre Algae Facility will be constructed adjacent to an existing biodiesel plant and will use the CO2 emitted from the biodiesel plant’s boilers to provide a portion of the needs of the algae facility. The algae oil produced from the facility will be turned into biodiesel through the existing biodiesel plant facilities.

GSPI will construct the algae production facility and operate it for 18-months and will participate in ongoing royalties with BTR from sales of algae oil and high protein meal. BTR is a member of a consortium of companies announced earlier in November by GSPI.

BTR and GSPI plan to build GSPI biodiesel production plants alongside algae production facilities at other locations in the US. BTR has plans to build several 1,000-acre algae facilities, each in conjunction with a GSPI biodiesel processing facility. Negotiations are in progress with funding institutions.

GSPI will perform the engineering, construction and operation of the 1,000-acre facilities and participate in the ongoing revenue stream.

GSPI completed a successful Phase I and II 40,000-liter demonstration algae facility in 2007. (Earlier post.)



The big news here was the several 1000 acre bioreactor farms planned. That's when it makes a difference, when things co commercial.


I hope the sewage nutrient options are include here: We hard working innovative colonials here in Aus send most of our hard won resources down a pipe where it is simply wasted in our ongoing War On Everthing.
Doing such a good job the shark problem is virtually solved. Soon our seaside communities (80%) of the population will be safe from them. But the depletion of minerals and vitamins are a bit of a worry. Do we see any golden fleece solutions on the horizon?


I wish them all success. I really, really hope this works.


Me too.  However, the press release has zero details (does not even state if open or closed growth systems are to be used) and the process could be far from economically viable.


A bit OT, but someone just figured out how to polymerize CO2. Fully biodegradable plastic.


The Hybrid Algae Production System (HAPS) developed by GSPI is described in an earlier press release about the 40000 litre prototype:

"Mr. LaStella further outlined the present state of the algae industry.

There are only two main types of algae production systems in use as follows:

A) Closed Photobioreactors

All attempts to use closed bioreactors for algae fuel crops have failed. The failure of the closed bioreactors includes the $250 million dollar R&D program spent by Japan. Closed bioreactors are too costly, although they do have a place as a breeder facility (hatchery) for larger systems.

B) Open Pond Systems

The alternative systems, which are open ponds, have had marginal success and are prone to multiple failures from many uncontrolled environmental conditions ranked in order: 1) Temperature and light variances – day and night, summer versus winter, etc.; 2) Infiltration from local algae into open ponds contaminating the cultured algae causing pond crashes; 3) Evaporation, wind blowing dust particles into ponds and rain causing changes in salinity and pH, which affect growth of algae.

The GSPI (licensed) algae system is a Hybrid Algae Production System (HAPS) that incorporates the controlled environment of the closed photobioreactors coupled with inexpensive construction technology to reduce the cost to a level very close to the open pond systems.

In summary, GSPI has developed the field expertise to build and operate the patent pending, proprietary Hybrid Algae Production System (HAPS), a cross between an open and closed pond system. The demonstration, prototype facility is located in Montana with an individual pond capacity of 40,000 liters, which can easily be scaled up to larger systems and acreage.

The GSPI enclosed HAPS have been designed to be constructed utilizing relatively inexpensive local materials anywhere in the world.

Three different pond construction methods (with the same overall design) were used to develop cost factors for time and capital expenditures to determine construction cost data.

The 40,000-liter pond with a four-man crew was assembled in less than 12 hours after the necessary construction materials were onsite. After the water flow commenced, tests for flow rates, mixing rates and pond day and night temperatures changes were charted.

During the test period, varied weather conditions occurred in Montana with temperatures varying from 34°F to 82°F, winds up to 30 mph, heavy rains, some snow, cloudy and sunny periods – all occurred during this time.

However, with the enclosed HAPS, several typical uncontrolled open-pond parameters were dramatically improved. For example, pond temperatures were 30°F to 36°F higher than the outside temperature on cold nights well above the optimum minimum growing temperature for algae of 64°F.

The HAPS also offer additional inexpensive external temperature controls, if necessary, to cool ponds in the hot summer and heat ponds in winter conditions, during extended sunless days, to maintain maximum growth conditions.

Also, algae cannot tolerate direct sunlight and they tend to grow best receiving 25% to 50% of direct sunlight. GSPI’s HAPS enclosed ponds have a partial light barrier with the enclosed material to promote optimum light conditions for algae photosynthesis.

Temperature and light control are the two most important parameters identified by industry reports and must be accomplished at an effective low cost. The next important parameter to be controlled is salinity. Open ponds continually evaporate large quantities of water and leave salt behind. Each time this cycle is completed additional salt water is added. Salt content continually increases and adversely affects the growth of the algae and must eventually be disposed of and exchanged with new water and algae. GSPI’s HAPS ponds do not evaporate the water and can maintain optimum salinity levels for long periods of time.

In summary, GSPI has already addressed the main causes of failures of other systems and we are now ready to inoculate the first HAPS’ pond with high-lipid (oil) producing algae."

tom deplume

Location, location, location? The midwest is such an ambiguos term they could just as well said they are keeping the location secret. As a publiclly traded company the failure to give a location in the press release raises suspicion.


"The next important parameter to be controlled is salinity. Open ponds continually evaporate large quantities of water and leave salt behind. Each time this cycle is completed additional salt water is added."

Where's the salt water coming from again? The midwest?


All water leaches minerals from the soil.  If you evaporate the water, the minerals are concentrated.  Just how do you think the Great Salt Lake got that way?


You suggest there is brine or brackish water in the midwest? Where?


Coming out of the ground.  How do you think Saline, MI got its name?  Pretty much all of Michigan overlies a massive layer of salt.  Most bedrock contains sodium and chloride, which becomes salt when leached.


Report in from La Trobe. Thats the brown coal power stations near Melbourne Vic. 1 yearfrom start, oil from algae. CO2 sequestration (back of the envelope suggests a 50& reduction in greenhouse.) Heat from Power station cooling,
Harvest quoed as every 3 days (doubling.) I didnn't hear whether sewage for nutrient feed. I see a "golden fleece" development as the logical next step as sewage carried minerals reclamation will be the next big challenge.
Many plants concentrate specific minerals so why not Hormones, chemicals vis detergents salts whatever are sufficiently removed the fishes are happy or return the water to the input. Then we have a REAL! yeah? closed loop system

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