Europe / Middle East / Africa
Italcementi debuts Algae at facilities
Jun, 06 2012
(France) -- Recently, the Italcementi group unveiled a new plan to supplement their fossil fuel consumption with renewable fuels. These new fuels are coming from algae grown on site at their Gargenville, France plant.
The algal program is part of a pilot program being implemented in some of the company’s French plants. The program involves using the waste CO2 from the cement plant, along with artificial light and some nutrients (mineral salts), to grow the algae in two glass tubes called photobioreactors. This system, which balances the light and gas exposure of the algae, is still in testing to find what amount of CO2 will achieve the highest quantity and quality of biomass.
The benefits of such a system as this are three-fold. The first benefit is the fact that less carbon dioxide is being released in the air. Secondly, the algae can be dried and used as a partial replacement of the plant’s fossil fuels. Finally, waste heat from the plant can be used during the drying process instead of being discharged to the atmosphere.
All told, Italcementi has taken a positive step towards reducing the environmental footprint of many of their plants. These pilot programs are expected to have all testing results completed by 2013.
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