Algenol Biofuels Inc. has broken ground on a pilot bio-refinery in Fort Myers.
The 36-acre plant will produce ethanol directly from carbon dioxide, sunlight and saltwater, using blue-green algae in patented photobioreactors. There will be 3,000 reactors, with the capacity to produce about 100,000 gallons of fuel-grade ethanol a year.
"The integrated bio-refinery located next to our existing Lee County, Florida research and development complex will allow Algenol to advance its proprietary ethanol production technology rapidly. This complex will allow Algenol to go all the way from single cell optimizations in the lab to fuel-grade ethanol at one site," said Paul Woods, Algenol's CEO and president, in a statement.
The company plans to have the most advanced integrated biofuels research and development complex in the world. To support its commercialization efforts, the company will increase its U.S. workforce to more 100 employees by the end of this year and add about 30 jobs in 2012.