Mexico’s BioFields pours in $65 million to commercialize next-gen algae-to-fuels venture
In Florida, Algenol, a pioneer in turning CO2 emissions into fuels, announced that it has closed on a new $25 million investment from BioFields, a Mexican business group devoted to the development of renewable and clean energy projects. This new investment follows a previous investment of $40 million from BioFields in 2014 — in all, BioFields has invested $65M in Algenol.
Founded in 2006, Algenol converts CO2 from industrial emitters into transportation fuels through its game-changing DIRECT TO ETHANOL process. The Company is working aggressively to commercialize this unique technology and scale production of its products. Algenol has recently commenced initial operations of a pilot commercial module at its Florida development campus, which builds on the successful launch of a demonstration project in India.
BioFields’ most recent investment builds atop previous commitments to Algenol that began in 2007. With this investment, more than $260 million dollars have been invested in and granted to Algenol from BioFields and Reliance Industries, a Fortune Global 500 company based in Mumbai, India, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy and Lee County, Florida.
Reaction from the principals
“We are very pleased to expand our investment into Algenol,” said Alejandro Gonzalez, founder of BioFields. “This technology has the best chance of actually reducing carbon emissions while producing cheap fuel in the process.”
“Algenol is very appreciative of BioFields’ continued support,” said Algenol Co-founder and CEO, Paul Woods, “This investment provides the funding for Algenol to accelerate the process of shifting focus away from R&D and towards commercialization of the technology.”
Algenol expanding: India
Last month, Algenol and Reliance Industries successfully deployed India’s first Algenol algae production platform. The demonstration module is located near the Reliance Jamnagar Refinery, the world’s largest oil refinery with a nameplate capacity of 668,000 barrels per day at a 7500 acre complex in Gujarat state at the western extreme of India.
The demonstration has completed several production cycles of Algenol’s wildtype host algae, but ultimately could demonstrate the fuels production capabilities of Algenol’s advanced fuel producing algae and systems. The Algenol fuel production process is designed to convert 1 tonne of CO2 into 144 gallons of fuel while recycling CO2 from industrial processes and converting 85% of the CO2 used into ethanol, gasoline, diesel and jet fuels. The advanced fuel producing algae technology is successfully operating at Algenol’s Fort Myers, Florida headquarters.
Fuel pathway approved
Earlier last month, Algenol announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved fuels made from Algenol’s process as an advanced biofuel, meeting the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction requirements under the Renewable Fuels Standard. Fuels produced from Algenol are now eligible for a Renewable Identification Number under the D-5 classification. The EPA’s approval of Algenol’s patented Direct to Ethanol pathway covers its bio-crude co-product under an already existing pathway.
“The EPA approval is a milestone event for Algenol. The EPA validates that our suite of fuels meet the GHG reduction requirements set by the EPA for advanced biofuels and allows blenders and refiners to use our fuels to meet their Clean Air Act obligations under the RFS,” stated Paul Woods, Founder and CEO of Algenol. RINs can be purchased by blenders to document compliance with the RFS. As part of this approval, the EPA determined that ethanol produced from the Algenol process resulted in an approximate 69% reduction in greenhouse gases when compared to gasoline.
Category: Top Stories