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08/19/2013

Shenandoah firm grows algae with a byproduct of ethanol plant - Des Moines Register

By Perry Beeman

SHENANDOAH, IA. — We’re all used to watching corn go in one end of a manufacturing plant and emerge as ethanol on the other end.

But algae?

BioProcess Algae claims to be the nation’s only algae-production facility located next to an ethanol plant, in this case Green Plains Renewable Energy in Shenandoah. That’s part of the reason the U.S. Department of Energy offered the joint venture a $6.4 million grant to develop drop-in fuels for military jets and ships.

And the firm grows the algae with a byproduct of the ethanol plant — carbon dioxide.

Green Plains has made a point of looking for ways to use every bit of every kernel of corn — 23.9 million bushels a year — to make something, said Green Plains CEO Todd Becker.

You know about the ethanol. The plant produces 65 million gallons a year for use in vehicles. But the plant also produces 16 million pounds of corn oil, and 182,000 tons of distillers grain, both used as animal feed.

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