Waste to en­ergy

Element - - Business -

In the clean­tech fu­ture there will be no such thing as waste: re­sources will end­lessly move from one use­ful process to the next. One of the New Zealand com­pa­nies help­ing to make this a re­al­ity is Aquaflow. The com­pany is pi­o­neer­ing meth­ods of re­mov­ing un­wanted al­gae from fresh­wa­ter and us­ing that al­gae to cre­ate bio­fu­els. It has done such an im­pres­sive job of this that is has al­ready de­vel­oped a part­ner­ship with the US Depart­ment of En­ergy, and has seen its prod­uct suc­cess­fully re­fined into diesel and jet fuel by US fuel re­search gi­ant UOP. Its ‘green crude’ is also be­gin­ning to yield com­mer­cially valu­able chem­i­cals that can be used in in­dus­try and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Di­rec­tor Nick Ger­rit­sen de­scribes his work in the sec­tor as stress­ful, nerve wrack­ing and ex­hil­a­rat­ing all at once.

“The dif­fi­culty in se­cur­ing cap­i­tal within the New Zealand mar­ket re­mains the big­gest chal­lenge. We have been rais­ing cap­i­tal con­tin­u­ously from qual­i­fy­ing in­vestors. When it comes to clean­tech as a coun­try we are still in this ‘does it ex­ist, or doesn’t it?’ mode, which most other wealthy coun­tries have jumped past prob­a­bly three to five years ago. I think that un­til New Zealand gains the con­fi­dence to look at the op­por­tu­nity prac­ti­cally, and ap­ply its com­mon sense, clean­tech will strug­gle here.”

Al­gae: blight or fuel source?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.