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Dow Chemical joins algae-based biofuel project

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) June 29, 2009
Dow Chemical announced plans Monday to join Algenol Biofuels in a pilot-scale project to use algae and carbon dioxide to produce ethanol fuel.

The facility is planned to be located at Dow's Freeport, Texas site.

The project will use Algenol's technology that calls for carbon dioxide and saltwater supplied to algae in photobioreactors to produce the biofuel.

Also contributing are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Georgia Institute of Technology and Membrane Technology & Research, Inc.

Dow said the project aims for "a breakthrough process for ethanol production" that does not use food sources such as corn.

The United States is the world's top producer of corn-based ethanol, but critics say this diverts needed food supplies and land resources for fuel, raising food prices on world markets.

"This project and the innovative technology involved offers great promise in the battle to help slow, stop and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions," said Andrew Liveris, Dow chairman and chief executive officer.

"We are very excited to be part of this ground-breaking alternative energy project, which is a good example of Dow's holistic approach to CO2 capture and storage by adding value through chemistry."

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Le Bourget, France (SPX) Jun 29, 2009
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