Vertigro, based in El Paso, Texas, has begun operation of its algae technology and development center. The project is a joint venture between Global Green Solutions Inc., and Valcent Products Inc., and is now mass producing rapidly-growing algae to be used as biofuel feedstock.
Since commencing operation, results from bioreactor tests have been extremely positive. “We have proven that our closed-loop bioreactor system can successfully produce algae over an extended period,” said Glen Kertz, principal scientist for the Vertigro project.
Vertigro’s laboratory is situated on six acres of land in the El Paso area. Within the new facility, high-speed algae screening equipment determines the premier strains of algae and the optimum growth conditions for the multiplicity of potential applications.
“We believe we will be able to target the exact species of algae most perfectly suited to the end product for which it is used,” said Kertz. “With this knowledge, we will be able to grow specific species in virtually any environment and maximize the algal oil and biomass produced.”
Letters of agreement to commercialize the Vertigro process have been signed with production partners in Portugal and South Africa. Additional agreements are pending with U.S. companies.
“Our accomplishments reinforce our commitment to be a leader in the renewable energy market,” said Kertz.