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Australian clean energy technology to recycle carbon dioxide into oil-rich algae

4 August 2010

An innovative clean energy project is being conducted in Australia to commercialise technology that consumes large quantities of greenhouse gases while producing low cost bio-oil and animal feedstock.

The environmentally friendly technology uses special strains of algae to consume the greenhouse gases emitted by power stations.

The $10 million project is being undertaken by James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, the Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre, and MBD Energy Ltd.

The project includes construction of a one hectare commercial facility at Queensland’s Tarong Power Station.

This facility will capture 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, which could lead to an 80 hectare site consuming over 70,000 tonnes of emissions and producing 11 million litres of oil and 25,000 tonnes of feedstock.

In the process, the algae double their biomass every 24 hours and allow the waste water in which they are grown to be recycled.

The algal research team at James Cook University, led by Professor Rocky de Nys and Associate Professor Kirsten Heimann, is renowned as a world leader in this specialist area.

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