6 November 2008 - RWE has launched a pilot algae growing plant for CO2 conversion at Niederaussem, Germany.
The concept is based on the biochemical process of photosynthesis in which plants convert light energy into chemical energy. By comparison with land plants, however, micro-algae have a growth rate that is seven to ten times higher. The consequence: faster growth means greater photosynthesis capacity and, hence, higher carbon dioxide consumption.
For the planning, research and implementation of this project, RWE has entered agreements with renowned partners such as the Jacobs University, Bremen, the Juelich Research Centre and the Phytolutions company.
The aim is to optimize the entire process chain from algae production to the final product. In a trial plant measuring some 600 m2, the algae are "fed" with flue gas from the power plant. Possible use of the resulting algae waste – e.g. as biofuel – is to be investigated.