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Graniteville company turning algae into energy

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A Graniteville company is working to turn green algae into the next energy source.

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Chuck Pardue, the president of Algae Bioenergy Solutions Inc., holds algae produced in a photo bio reactors in Graniteville. He says oil can be extracted from the algae and turned into biodiesel.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Chuck Pardue, the president of Algae Bioenergy Solutions Inc., holds algae produced in a photo bio reactors in Graniteville. He says oil can be extracted from the algae and turned into biodiesel.

Algae Bioenergy Solutions Inc., has been producing algae for six months in a warehouse on Bettis Academy Road, perfecting its process before expanding to a $1.4 million operation.

According to Chuck Pardue, the company’s president, oil can be extracted from the algae and turned into biodiesel. The company is growing algae in 1,800-gallon vats under LED lights. When the algae is mature, the vats are set out to evaporate and the algae residue is scraped out and dried for extraction.

The company is taking things one step at a time, Pardue said, and now that they know they can grow the algae they are moving on to perfect the drying and extraction processes.

“Ultimately, we’d like to replace soybean oil altogether,” he said.

The cost to produce the product has decreased significantly. Three years ago, it cost $500 per ton of algae to extract the oil. Today, the cost is about $10 per ton.

“That’s going to be the key, keeping the cost down,” Pardue said.

Algae grows by consuming carbon dioxide and nutrients and produces oxygen as a byproduct. Algae Bioengery Solutions believes there is great potential in working with industrial companies to turn their carbon dioxide waste into oxygen while feeding the algae and producing green energy.

Pardue is an attorney, specializing in military law, and energy independence is something he believes in strongly.

“It’s going to reduce the cause of a lot of the major wars,” he said. “Rather than just complaining, we’re doing something about it.”

The company will receive some tax credits and incentives from the government, and the Navy is a major supporter of the industry, but Pardue said the company wants to try for self-sufficiency as much as possible.

“We want to do this completely free of subsidies in order to be truly sustainable,” he said.

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KSL
134450
Points
KSL 06/26/12 - 01:12 pm
3
0
So what is the amount of oil

So what is the amount of oil and the cost per gallon?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 06/26/12 - 01:19 pm
3
0
I'm interested enough. Good

I'm interested enough. Good show ABS and I wish yall all the good vibes available. Keep us posted and eventually more and more folks will get wise to the inevitable fact that petrol sources will be tapped out and algae is a viable alternative to study and perfect. By my calculations, you have about 40 years before things get dire.

countyman
20588
Points
countyman 06/26/12 - 01:45 pm
4
0
They opened a multi million

They opened a multi million dollar plant in South Augusta too....

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 06/26/12 - 01:53 pm
3
0
These Guys

will get rich just as soon as Exxon or some other energy company comes along and buys them out and squashes the whole thing.

Gordon
31
Points
Gordon 06/26/12 - 02:56 pm
2
0
I wish they would come and

I wish they would come and harvest the algae from my Koi Pond.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 06/26/12 - 03:52 pm
2
0
Lower Your Algae Bill Now!!

If they can yield significant amounts of energy from realistic amounts of algae, hopefully they can develop it to the point of making it available to homeowners. At a cost that would beat current conversion costs for solar.

I suppose if all else fails, we can raise Chihuahuas and put them on hamster wheels. Just rotate before they tire out. HAH

Riverman1
86917
Points
Riverman1 06/26/12 - 04:36 pm
2
1
Are they doing anything at

Are they doing anything at the South Augusta plant?

Gage Creed
17859
Points
Gage Creed 06/26/12 - 09:27 pm
3
1
Strange that countyman (They

Strange that countyman (They WILL create 200 jobs) seems to be the only one that believes that the South Augusta facility is operational. If you read this press release and associated articles, ABS dissolved its partnership with BARD Holdings and is focusing on the Graniteville (not located in the Augusta CBD) facility. How about that US Battery Expansion?

countyman
20588
Points
countyman 06/26/12 - 10:38 pm
3
3
Please show me something were

Please show me something were it says the plant has closed...

I don't know why you continue to bring the expansion at US Battery...
http://appweb.augustaga.gov/planning_zoning/plazid_display.asp?zID=4270

I have a link to back up the facts, and you have well nothing...

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 06/27/12 - 10:38 am
0
0
All you have...
Unpublished

All you have is an approval from the planning commission to build a building. I see nothing about more jobs or expanding operations etc. etc. That's not proof of anything but a large building.

Gage Creed
17859
Points
Gage Creed 06/27/12 - 08:12 pm
0
0
What you have is a 7 month

What you have is a 7 month old P&Z document that there has been no action on...typical for you. Care to show any signs of construction or staffing increase? I didn't think so.....

Regarding staffing at ABS, they have not updated their website news since February of 2012...can you show me something where they are open and have a staff of 200? I've been by their facility and everytime I go by the gates are chained and locked. Oh...that's right you wouldn't know...you can't venture out of the CBD.

http://www.absgreenfuels.com/news

Gage Creed
17859
Points
Gage Creed 06/27/12 - 09:02 pm
0
1
Just to be clear...I wish ABS

Just to be clear...I wish ABS (and all area businesses) success in their endeavors.
My issue lies with those who continue to be disingenuous about the business climate here in our area. I challenge them to take off the rose colored glasses and talk realistically.

scorehouse
196
Points
scorehouse 06/27/12 - 10:56 pm
0
0
total bs
Unpublished

augusta's taxpayer funed solyndra! this is so feel good bogus. 1800 gallon vats! how many gallons of fuel do you get from a vat? this is total horsesheet!

harley_52
23959
Points
harley_52 07/07/13 - 05:34 pm
0
0
"By my calculations, you have about 40 years....

....before things get dire."

No kidding?

I'm curious...by your calculations, how much oil will the U.S. extract from sand and shale during that 40 years? What changes will be made to automobiles, trucks, and buses to influence their fuel usage? Will the Keystone Pipeline be built? If so, when? If not, where will Canada sell its oil?

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