One of the locations on the tour was a facility known as Sartec based in Anoka, Minnesota. Currently, SarTec is working on a process in conjunction with Great River Energy by which it can convert algae oil into a biodiesel fuel. Known as the "Mcgyan Process", it takes vegetable oil or animal fats combined with alcohol and when run through a reactor it is almost instantly converted into biodiesel.
Dr. Mark Rasmussen (Senior Microbiologist):
"The goal of the project is to develop efficient algae production systems that allow for the capture of emissions from coal burning power plants and then to extract the algae oil from the biomass and produce biodiesel using the Mcgyan process. This technology could then one day be transferred to the farm. The potential for biodiesel production from algae is vast; using less than 3% of our current crop land we could produce the 63 billion gallons of bio-diesel fuel that we currently need in the United States. Thus all of our diesel fuel could be produced domestically. This would also have a tremendous effect on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and solve the issue of food versus fuel since algae is not a food and it can be grown on land that is not used for food production."
Cross Posted on Dump Bachmann