Business / Green Companies

Project to convert seaweed into renewable chemicals

By Wei Tian ( Updated: 2012-10-29 17:30

China's Xunshan Group, the world's largest grower of brown seaweed, will work with Bio Architecture Lab, a US biotechnology company, to convert seaweed into renewable chemicals, fuel and other products for both the Chinese and global market, a press release from the lab said on Monday.

Under terms of the agreement, the two companies will develop a seaweed bio-refinery using Xunshan's seaweed and Bio Architecture Lab's conversion technology to produce a low-cost carbohydrate for the production of renewable chemicals, fuels, animal feed and a variety of other high-value products that will prove useful to energy and pharmaceutical companies.

The California-headquartered Bio Architecture Lab and the Shandong-based Xunshan are conducting feasibility analyses of sites along the coast of Shandong province that could be the locations of both the integrated bio-refinery and a seaweed farm along, according to the press release.

Seaweed, partly because of its high sugar content, is an ideal feedstock for the commercial production of biofuels and renewable chemicals. It does not require arable land or freshwater to grow and can be grown and harvested with existing equipment and processes.

"Partnering with the Xunshan Group is a critical step to accelerate our path to commercialization," said Daniel Trunfio, chairman and chief executive officer of Bio Architecture Lab.

"This agreement allows us to focus on our core strength — proprietary and patented technology — while leveraging the expertise and global reach of the Xunshan Group."

"Together, we will develop international markets for the production of renewable fuels, chemicals and other high-value products using our low-cost carbohydrate derived from brown seaweed."

According to Trunfio, Bio Architecture Lab's technology can help expand the seaweed industry from its current value of $5 billion to $250 billion.

"Bio Architecture Lab's technology opens new markets to seaweed production and will help enable Xunshan to increase our production and expand our business globally," said Li Changqing, chairman of the Xunshan Group.

"We look forward to opening new opportunities to both companies. That will ultimately lead to the establishment of new markets and economic opportunities through sustainable chemicals, fuels, feed and other high-value products."

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks