US firm breaks ground on seaweed-to-biofuels project in Chile

16 December 2011 16:43  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US biofuels firm Bio Architecture Lab (BAL) has broken ground on a pilot facility in Chile to further develop its technology to make biofuels from seaweed, it said on Friday.

BAL said the facility, in Chile’s Los Lagos region, would become operational next year, allowing it to “demonstrate a complete value chain from feedstock cultivation [of seaweed] to advanced biofuel production.”

The company plans to “scale-up” the project to a larger facility within four years, it added without disclosing capacity data.

BAL’s technology can metabolise the sugars in seaweed into fermentable sugars competitive with conventional sugar sources, it said. The company has already managed to produce ethanol and isobutanol from seaweed, it added.

“Seaweed is an ideal feedstock for commercial scale biofuels and chemicals production because it has up to 60% fermentable carbohydrates; it has no lignin; it does not require arable land use or freshwater to grow, and it reduces marine pollution,” it said.

On its website, Berkeley, California-based BAL lists a number of partnerships with other firms, including partnerships with DuPont and with Butamax, a biobutanol joint venture between DuPont and BP.

For more on DuPont and other producers visit ICIS company intelligence
Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly

Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)
ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index