Algae Aqua-Culture receives grant for biodigester plant

Algae Aqua-Culture Technology (AACT), a Whitefish, Montana company, announced its receipt of a $350,000 government grant to stimulate the development of Montana’s algae-to-fertilizer industry. The grant, offered under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was awarded by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

AACT will use its grant money to immediately begin building a wood chip to energy and fertilizer processing plant in Columbia Falls that will initially employ about nine people. AACT’s process uses a greenhouse-based algae growth system and an anaerobic biodigester to transform a blend of the wood waste and algae into high-value methane for power generation, as well as into significant amounts of highly valuable organic fertilizer, according to Kathi Montgomery, Montana DEQ public education specialist.

The DEQ awarded the grant based on the determination that AACT would be able to adapt its computerized biomass processing technology to the existing mill operation and forest products found at Stoltze Lumber Company mill in Columbia Falls, Montana.

AACT currently operates a demonstration site at Stoltze Mill and the Recovery Grant money will allow it to begin building a full-scale 5,550 square-foot Green Power House and to begin gearing up to meet an accumulating demand for both its organic fertilizer and its Green Power Houses.