May 20, 2005 4:00 AM PDT
Start-up drills for oil in algae
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requires a great deal of land. GreenFuel estimates that 70 percent of power plants in the United States have enough land and "food"--that is, carbon byproduct.
Still, CEO Bullock is convinced there is a clear demand for energy-related technologies that reduce the environmental impact of operating a business. "It struck me as a technology that might just make a big difference," he said.
Some of the impetus to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming is mandated by the Kyoto Treaty, which the United States has not signed. The treaty, expected to go into effect in Asia and Europe, calls for reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released and for implementing a system for purchasing carbon emission credits.
"Certainly when I talk to utility executives, they're thinking about carbon, even though they don't have $10 or $20 emissions permits," Bullock said. "At a business level, it's a contingent liability."
Outside of business circles, Bullock notes that people in general are increasingly showing concern over the environment, particularly outside the United States. The prospect of being perceived as a "green"--and community-minded--company may also help drive sales of GreenFuel's products to energy utilities.
GreenFuel's pilot customer is considering a plan to sell or donate the biodiesel it generates from the bioreactors as fuel for local school buses.
"They can be seen as heroes by taking something dirty and making something wonderful and sharing it with the community," Berzin said. "But the bottom line is that it makes sense economically."
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