The funding is provided through the Montana Board of Research and Commercialization, a unit of the Montana Department of Commerce. The objective of the grant award is to demonstrate the production of algae from an industrial source of carbon dioxide in Montana using GreenShift’s bioreactor technology. GreenShift is to provide matching funds of $125,000.
The bioreactor technology uses thermophilic cyanobacteria to consume carbon dioxide emissions. Sunlight is collected using parabolic mirrors that transfer and filter the light to a series of light pipes. The light pipes channel the light into the bioreactor structure where it is distributed and radiated throughout the structure using light panels. A growth media, such as polyester, is inserted between each lighting surface. Water, containing nutrients, continuously cascades down the growth media. The organisms can be harvested for extraction and conversion into value-added carbon neutral products once they grow to maturity.
GreenShift’s pilot bioreactor is designed as a mobile demonstration platform to quantify existing benchtop testing results and to refine the design parameters for commercial-scale deployments of the technology at targeted locations.
GreenShift plans to co-locate bioreactors at corn ethanol production plants and other fermentation processes where concentrated supplies of carbon dioxide are naturally emitted and are relatively easy to capture and control. GreenShift plans to leverage its existing corn oil extraction platform and presence in the US ethanol industry to reduce capital and go-to-market costs as it brings its bioreactor technologies to market.
GreenShift currently owns and operates six biofuel-related production facilities: four corn oil extraction facilities based on GreenShift’s corn oil extraction technologies, one biodiesel production facility, and one vegetable oilseed crushing facility.