Algae to Biofuel Project Launched in Greece
May 31, 2012
usiness Partners Online reports that two Greek entrepreneurs won the first place prize of $100,000 for Alternative Agriculture in the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce’s “Making Innovation Work: Make Greece More Competitive” contest this year. Their plans to commercially produce algae biomass for use as an alternative industrial fuel are seen as a pioneering effort in Greece, adding a new, innovative product to the roster of Greek exportable products and possibly having tremendous implications for Greece’s fragile economy.
According to project developers John Antoniadis and Takis Panagiotopoulos, algae biofuels could eventually contribute more than €1 billion per year to the country’s revenues, and support more than 5,000 full time employment opportunities. It could also provide a shot in the arm for the country’s agricultural sector, allowing farmers to easily shift from increasingly uncompetitive cash crops to producing a high-value, highly demanded biofuel product.
With strict CO2 allowances coming into effect for European firms in 2013, the project developers believe that algae can play an increasing role in meeting the energy needs of Europe’s heavy industry. The team plans to market their high-caloric algae biomass to international cement, power and steel producers as a price-competitive and environmentally friendly alternative to coal and lignite.