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Startup plans algae greenhouse on brewer’s roof

April 6, 2014
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Superior Ecotech

Superior Ecotech LLC’s co-founders Phil Calabrese, left, and Daniel Higgs, right, confer with Upslope Brewing Co.’s founder Matt Cutter about their plans to grow algae on Upslope’s rooftop in Boulder.

Doug Storum writes in the Boulder County (Colorado) Business Report that Superior Ecotech LLC launched a $10,000 Kickstarter campaign to fund the construction of an algae greenhouse on the rooftop of Upslope Brewing Co. in Boulder.
 The algae is intended to soak up carbon dioxide emissions from the brewery and then be converted to omega-3 oils and other useful products.

“The money from the Kickstarter campaign will allow us to build a pilot-scale demonstration of our algae growing technology and really help us move forward as a business,” said Daniel Higgs, one of the company’s co-founders.

Boulder-based Superior Ecotech was co-founded in June of last year by University of Colorado-Boulder students Higgs, Philip Calabrese, Nicole Reed-Fry and Iowa State University students Matteo del Ninno and Martin Gross.
The group will be competing for $1.3 million in prize money April 10 in Houston as part of the Rice University Business Plan Competition.

The students have spent the last few years developing an algae grower designed for use at craft breweries. The technology tackles a problem for Colorado’s beer businesses: reducing brewery carbon-dioxide emissions in a cost-effective, sustainable way.

Superior Ecotech’s algae greenhouse system requires clean carbon dioxide and sunny outdoor space on the ground or on a roof. Craft breweries are in a unique position to supply both of these needs, Higgs said.
“We’re building our pilot at Upslope where they have exactly what we need and are really supporting this project. This algae greenhouse will allow us to prove our business model and optimize our technology while helping them reduce carbon dioxide emissions.”

Superior Ecotech’s long-term goal is to use its algae oils to produce cost-effective biofuels that can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels.

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