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They’re Growing Algae To Use As Aviation Fuel
A rural Iowa company currently selling algae-growing equipment to different cities and industries with wastewater treatment plants is expanding its mission.
  Algae is a plant crop taking in carbon dioxide and producing oxygen making it a popular consideration for companies actively improving water quality while stressing sustainability.
  “The water industry views nitrogen and phosphorus as a solution and a problem, but the farmers view them as a fertilizer,” says Max Gangestad, Gross-Wen’s COO. “It’s a natural marriage if we can use excess chemical elements from one industry as the needed inputs in other industries.”
  Gross-Wen Technologies originally developed their equipment to grow algae in wastewater, which they buy back, harvest, pelletize, and use to produce slow-releasing fertilizer. Soon, they’ll expand their operations and partner with a prominent yet unnamed oil and gas company interested in their algae plant lipids for conversion into sustainable aviation fuel.
  Gangestad says this partner company will extract the oils and needed components from the algae at their own refinery. He’s optimistic that Gross-Wen will continue to make some fertilizer with their algae, plus work outside the box to increase its value.
  He explains they’re still early in the research and development process but believes the actual transformation of algae into sustainable aviation fuel will take place soon. This is driven by large amounts of federal funding targeting the development of more sustainable feedstock.
  “There’s a huge demand for sustainable aviation fuels,” Gangestad says. “The Department of Energy (DOE) has determined there will be a lack of feedstock for required sustainable aviation fuel going forward. We have a great marriage and application here as many feedstocks initially have high costs to produce, whereas algae grown in wastewater is a beneficial, low-cost waste from another industry.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Max Gangestad, Gross-Wen Technologies, 404 Main St., Slater, Iowa 50244 (info@gross-wen.com; https://algae.com).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #6