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Energy Blog Is Green Crude Oil the New Black

Is Green Crude Oil the New Black

Chris Hurcombe
by Chris Hurcombe August 29, 2012
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Whilst the stock of traditional crude oil is always a hot topic, a new form of green crude oil is set to cause a shake-up in the commercial energy market thanks to a ground-breaking new facility.  Green by both name and by nature, green crude oil is the latest the latest renewable energy idea to make it out of the prototype phase and into production, as a 300-acre facility has opened in the US.  Green crude oil is the product of cultivating and harvesting algae grown in vast ponds.

Green Crude Oil the New Black?

Where the algae is treated and conditioned to produce a variety of different biological byproducts.  Other facilities around the world have successfully produced biodiesel, biobutanol and biogasoline, but the ‘Green Crude Farm’ is the world’s first commercial demonstration algae-to-energy facility.

Despite construction beginning in only June 1 2011, the facility is already completed and operational – on time and on budget, no less.

Also known as an Integrated Algal Bio-Refinery, the plant was funded by a combination of public and private funds, including a $50m grant from the US Department of Energy. The farm will will produce 1.5 million gallons  of crude oil per year and is gone to some of the largest algae ponds ever built with groupings of 1.1 acre and 2.2 acre ponds which are 1/8 of a mile long.

Green Crude Oil Tests

So-called ‘shakedown’ tests to ensure the facility’s systems proved to be a success, and June saw the first crop of 81 million tons of algae biomass harvested without any difficulty.

A spokesman for the Green Crude Farm was on hand to praise the completion of the first harvest, “What was once a concept is now becoming a reality and model for growing algae to make a renewable crude oil for energy. We look forward to sharing our progress as the Green Crude Farm moves to its next stage.”

That next stage will see the green crude become a local mainstay of business gas and electricity production in the us, with a target of 2014 to have a production rate of 100 barrels of green crude produced per day, and hopefully provide a blueprint for similar farms.

Critics, however, are keen to see how the facility fares when it’s state-funding commission runs dry in 2013. Such heavy investment government could subsidise the cost of green crude as a viable commercial energy source for businesses in the short-term, but once the farm is self-reliant, will the price of it’s product shoot above that of a fossil fuel?

Is Green Crude Oil the New Black

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Green Crude Farm and algae-to-energy in general, so drop us a comment or tweet us with your opinion!

If you would like more information on Green Crude Oil or would simply like to find out how we could benefit your business, simply call our energy team today on 0870 710 7560 or request a call back at time to suit.