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Dow Chemical, Algenol Biofuels Teaming to Build Algae-Based Ethanol Plant in Texas

Dow Chemical Company will team with Algenol Biofuels, a Florida-headquartered startup company, to build and operate a pilot-scale, algae-based biorefinery in Freeport, Texas, that will convert carbon dioxide into ethanol. In a statement, Dow says the project will use photosynthesis to convert the carbon dioxide by supplying it to algae that is grown in a salt-water solution in photobioreactors. "This project and the innovative technology involved offers great promise in the battle to help slow, stop, and reverse the growth of greenhouse gas emissions," says Andrew N. Liveris, Dow's chair and CEO. The Associated Press (AP) reports that the carbon dioxide emissions will come from an existing Dow plant near the biorefinery. AP also says the companies have jointly applied for a $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and that once operational, the biofuel plant would employ approximately 300 workers. The Georgia Institute of Technology, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Membrane Technology & Research Inc. are also working on the project.

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