New carbon capture algae farm planned for North County
Global Algae named an Xprize Carbon Removal winner
– Global Algae has chosen North County as the site for Farm 160, its algae farm project that aims to capture carbon dioxide and produce polymer products from algae oil with the goal of contributing to rainforest growth and providing a new sustainable source of protein and oil.
This project was recently announced as one of 15 Milestone Award Winners for Xprize Carbon Removal, a competition by Elon Musk and Peter H. Diamandis that awards one million dollars to each winner.
“Our technology helps with many more global dilemmas than just carbon capture. The increase in productivity at scale will help deforestation, overfishing, water quality and quantity issues, mass extinction due to habitat loss, rural rejuvenation, and food shortages,” said David “D3” Hazlebeck, president of Global Algae.
Farm 160 will overall use algae to capture carbon dioxide from the environment which will then allow two main components to occur: using algae oil to produce polymer products and allow rainforest growth as less deforestation will be needed for these products.
Just a few materials that can be formed from algae include using the oil for aviation fuel, omega 3s for human supplementation or plastic and foam products; protein from algae can be added into feed for both people and animals.
The productivity of one acre of algae is equivalent to 31 acres of rainforest. The Farm 160 proposal process for Xprize included multiple parts, such as submitting business plans, technology demonstrations, Life Cycle Analysis and Lifecycle Emissions Intake Forms, financial analysis, technical writing reports, and more. The first phase of construction will include four acres and take place in late 2022.
“We chose San Luis Obispo County because we wanted a temperate climate (compared to Kauai, the location of our current facility) in a county that already has a significant agricultural presence. We specifically chose the Paso Robles/Shandon area because it fits our desired weather profile with an average of 286 days of sun per year, and it met our other major site selection metrics of: access for support (proximity to Cal Poly) and topography,” Hazlebeck said.
Since 2013, Global Algae has created over 20 algae projects focused on the research and development of carbon sequestration and algae product innovation. The company is family owned and operated, founded by current CEO Dr. Dave Hazlebeck and ran by his four children and one of their spouses. All the children attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, with the four spouses also Cal Poly alumni and/or from the Central Coast.
“We would like the community to know that we are excited to be able to provide quality jobs and other benefits to the local community. We like to get involved with each community that we have operations by providing an annual marriage and parenting seminar, having team bonding events at local restaurants/businesses, and participating in STEM nights at local schools,” Hazlebeck said.
For more information about Global Algae, visit their website here.