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Capturing Carbon with Algae

December 1, 2011
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Seambiotic, headed by Noam Wenczel, takes a novel approach to using algae for fuel that connects a power plant flue to a series of algae-munching ponds. Marine-based algae, which are actually tiny plants, live on a diet of carbon dioxide and sunlight, both found in abundance at power plants in sunny Mediterranean countries and the southern United States. Theoretically, an algae pond could produce 30 times more feedstock for biofuel than the land-based crop alternatives. However, so far nobody has been successful in figuring out how to do this in a cost-effective manner.

Algae ponds capture carbon from power plants Approaching the challenge from a different direction, Seambiotic offers a way for its partner power plant owners to see a return on investment for reducing carbon emissions immediately. By sucking out power plant effluent and feeding it to algae—filtering out heavy metals first, of course—Seambiotic and its partners generate a healthy income by producing a valuable nutraceutical based on algae, which is especially popular in Eastern countries such as China. “Carbon capture and food additives—these high-ticket items are our bread and butter. Fuel is our long-term objective,” Wenczel tells ISRAEL21c.

The company also helps produce carbon credits as it reduces the overall greenhouse gas emissions coming from power plants. For every 25-acre algae pond, Seambiotic can reduce 1% of the carbon dioxide being emitted from a power plant. The company could add as many as 10 pools per power plant, resulting in a 10% reduction of this greenhouse gas believed to be contributing to climate change. For more information: www.seambiotic.com; +972-3-691-1688.

Source: Excerpts of an article by Karin Kloosterman, www.israel21c.org

Photo Credit: www.israel21c.org

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