Dow and Algenol build pilot-scale biorefinery in Texas
The Dow Chemical Company announced that it plans to work
with Algenol Biofuels, Inc. to build and operate a pilot-scale
algae-based integrated biorefinery that will convert
CO2 into ethanol. The facility is planned to be located
at Dow’s Freeport, Texas site.
Algenol’s technology uses CO2, salt water, sunlight and
non-arable land to produce ethanol. Dow, National Renewable
Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Georgia Institute of Technology
(Georgia Tech) and Membrane Technology & Research,
Inc. are contributing science, expertise, and technology
to the project. Their combined expertise offers new and
innovative technology, with the opportunity for creating
a breakthrough process for ethanol production.
Algenol submitted its formal request to obtain a grant
from the United States Department of Energy for financial
support to successfully conduct the pilot. Upon approval
of the grant, Dow and the other collaborators will work
with Algenol to demonstrate the technology at a level
to sufficiently prove that it can be implemented on a
In addition to leasing the land for the pilot-scale facility,
Dow plans to develop the advanced materials and specialty
films for the photobioreactor system. In addition, Dow
will also provide the technology and expertise related
to water treatment solutions and will provide Algenol
with access to a CO2 source for the biorefinery from
a nearby Dow manufacturing facility.
The CO2 will be supplied to the algae in the photobioreactors
and will serve as the carbon source for the ethanol produced.
The result is a CO2 capture process which converts industrially
derived CO2 into more sustainable fuels and chemicals.