The Evolution of Green Valley Biofuels

Biodiesel and algae companies unite
By Luke Geiver | July 15, 2011

For Green Valley Biofuels, the waiting game is over. The biodiesel production company located in Warrenville, S.C., will no longer be restricted by that time-consuming, profit-regulating factor the industry knows as feedstock. The company has signed a partnership with Bard Energy Holding Inc., an algae cultivation expert from Pennsylvania. The agreement is simple: Bard will grow the algae at the biodiesel production site and Green Valley Biofuels will use the lipids from the cultures as feedstock for biodiesel.

If the partnership proves out, the entire industry and those waiting for the generation of nonfood feedstocks to truly take off will have a model of how to make algae-to-biodiesel work on a commercial scale. But to get to where it is today, Green Valley Biofuels has had to evolve and adapt to obstacles such as expired tax credits and feedstock acquisition.

In 2010, the plant began phase one: building a 35 MMgy facility. The initial plan was to use chicken fat as the main feedstock for the plant, but with the tax credit absent, the biodiesel refinery was unable to make it work. But, even in tough times, Chuck Pardue, president of Algae Bioenergy Solutions, had his sights set on algae, and wasn’t afraid to take the leap and make the idea of algae a tangible option for biodiesel production. A retired Army JAG Lieutenant Colonel, Pardue formed Algae Bioenergy Solutions with Green Valley Biofuels and continued to search for a low-cost, proven technology for algae cultivation. He found Bard, and Surajit Khanna, its chairman and CEO.

Now the two are working together to bring the cultivation process Khanna has been developing the past four years in Pennslyvania down to South Carolina. “This plant will provide feedstock for Green Valley Biofuels, a sister company of ABS, as well as valuable coproducts,” Pardue explains. “For over three years, ABS considered numerous algae technology companies to be its partner.”

Today, the company that once sought to use chicken fats as a feedstock could be the first large-scale biodiesel production company to use algae. From Khanna’s perspective, even that isn’t enough. Khanna tells Biodiesel Magazine that the work of Bard and some of the other leading algae companies isn’t simply about proving growth technology or extraction techniques, but instead, to facilitate the success of companies like those of sister companies Algae Bioenergy Solutions and Green Valley Biofuels.

The plans thus far are to install the first of Bard’s photobioreactor systems at the Warrenville site this summer. Will the culitvars grow? Most likely. Is the biodiesel production technology on site already capable of handling the algae-based feedstock? Of course. Should the entire industry believe this will truly work when we truly see it? Yes, but maybe all should be assured by the likes of Pardue, as this could be just another phase in the evolution of algae-to-biodiesel production.

Array ( [REDIRECT_REDIRECT_STATUS] => 200 [REDIRECT_STATUS] => 200 [HTTP_USER_AGENT] => CCBot/2.0 ( [HTTP_ACCEPT] => text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8 [HTTP_IF_MODIFIED_SINCE] => Wed, 19 Sep 2018 02:10:53 GMT [HTTP_HOST] => [HTTP_CONNECTION] => Keep-Alive [HTTP_ACCEPT_ENCODING] => gzip [PATH] => /sbin:/usr/sbin:/bin:/usr/bin [SERVER_SIGNATURE] =>
Apache/2.2.15 (CentOS) Server at Port 80
[SERVER_SOFTWARE] => Apache/2.2.15 (CentOS) [SERVER_NAME] => [SERVER_ADDR] => [SERVER_PORT] => 80 [REMOTE_ADDR] => [DOCUMENT_ROOT] => /datadrive/websites/ [SERVER_ADMIN] => [SCRIPT_FILENAME] => /datadrive/websites/ [REMOTE_PORT] => 38928 [REDIRECT_QUERY_STRING] => url=articles/7907/the-evolution-of-green-valley-biofuels [REDIRECT_URL] => /app/webroot/articles/7907/the-evolution-of-green-valley-biofuels [GATEWAY_INTERFACE] => CGI/1.1 [SERVER_PROTOCOL] => HTTP/1.1 [REQUEST_METHOD] => GET [QUERY_STRING] => url=articles/7907/the-evolution-of-green-valley-biofuels [REQUEST_URI] => /articles/7907/the-evolution-of-green-valley-biofuels [SCRIPT_NAME] => /app/webroot/index.php [PHP_SELF] => /app/webroot/index.php [REQUEST_TIME_FLOAT] => 1545164250.521 [REQUEST_TIME] => 1545164250 )