BAL launches seaweed biofuels pilot plant in Chile: next phase in chase for low-carbon fuels

December 16, 2011 |

In Chile, Bio Architecture Lab broke ground on an experimental pilot facility producing ethanol from Macrocystis pyrifera (brown seaweed); to date, it is believed that only BAL’s technology can metabolize all the sugars in the feedstock, which contains up to 60 percent fermentable carbohydrates, has no lignin, does not require arable land use or freshwater to grow.

The facility, expected to be operational in 2012 will allow the company to demonstrate a complete value chain from feedstock cultivation (seaweed farming) to advanced biofuel production; the company expects to scale-up by the end of 2015. BAL currently operates three seaweed farms in Quenac and Ancud in the Los Lagos region, and Caldera in the Atacama region of Chile.

To date, BAL has signed public-private partnerships with InnovaChile CORFO (the Chilean Economic Development Agency) and the Universidad de Los Lagos, in advancing the technology.

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Category: International

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