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Algix opens algae-to-plastics facility in Georgia

September 16, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Harvested algae is hauled up a conveyor belt into a collection bin at Algix’s new facility in Dallas County, Georgia. Algix uses the algae, harvested from nearby catfish farm ponds, in the manufacturing of bioplastics. Photo: Josh Bergeron

Harvested algae is hauled up a conveyor belt into a collection bin at Algix’s new facility in Dallas County, Georgia. Algix uses the algae, harvested from nearby catfish farm ponds, in the manufacturing of bioplastics. Photo: Josh Bergeron

J dropcaposh Bergeron writes in The Selma Times-Journal that Bogart, Georgia-based Algix has just opened its newest facility in Dallas County, developed to turn catfish-pond algae into biodegradable plastic.

The company plans to vacuum algae from nearby catfish ponds into holding tanks and bring the tanks to their Dallas County facility where the algae will be processed and placed in a dryer before being shipped to Meridian, Mississippi. There the algae will be turned into plastic material. The pellets will then be shipped to companies including Apple, Clorox, BASF and Shaw.

Algix supplies larger companies with its plastic pellets for inclusion in products such as smart phones or water bottles. “It’s really quite revolutionary to make algae, which is seen as waste, into a usable product,” marketing specialist Denise Hobart said during the new facility’s grand opening event.

Currently, three catfish farmers allow Algix to use their ponds as a source of Algae. Algix Chief Executive Officer Mike Van Drunen said he hopes to have 500 farmers participating by the end of 2016.

Algix is not able to fill large orders currently, but has plans to harvest three million pounds of algae and produce seven million pounds of plastic by 2014.

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