We are leveraging our established success to commercialize DIRECT TO ETHANOL® technology as the cheapest and most environmentally friendly process for the production of biofuels. This elegant and profitable solution for producing sustainable sources of energy will provide a significant contribution to reducing dependence on unstable and difficult to extract sources of oil while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Our 4-acre process development unit is currently producing ethanol in modular photobioreactors. Activities at the process development unit have been instrumental in establishing the standard operating procedures required for scale-up to commercial scale operations. Next, we have initiated operations at our pilot scale integrated biorefinery (IBR) in the first quarter of 2013 and we will continue scale-up throughout the year. The 36-acre IBR will provide an example of a fully integrated commercial facility and will provide the operational knowledge necessary to pursue commercial projects. The IBR will also serve as a testing facility as we work with partners to integrate technologies for the conversion of waste algae into jet and diesel fuel, significantly enhancing the value proposition of DIRECT TO ETHANOL® technology.
We are pursuing commercial DIRECT TO ETHANOL® projects in the United States, Mexico, South America, Europe and throughout the rest of the world’s suitable climates. Our ambition is to have DIRECT TO ETHANOL® projects producing more than 20 billion gallons of ethanol per year within 20 years.
Successfully commercializing DIRECT TO ETHANOL® technology will provide Algenol with the foundation, scientific expertise, operational experience and resources necessary to further develop algae-based technologies for high volume production of valuable green chemicals.
Algenol’s novel technologies are already responsible for significant positive economic stimulus and job creation in addition to environmental and energy security benefits. The construction of our pilot-scale Integrated Biorefinery and Process Development Unit and renovation of two 20,000-square foot buildings employed 430 construction workers for over 58,000 construction man-hours. The completion of our commercial development campus has spurred the growth of our Lee County, FL workforce from 12 in early 2010 to over 120 full-time positions today, including more than 50 employees with advanced degrees. Continued scale-up of the 36-acre Integrated Biorefinery will generate several additional operations positions by the end of 2013.
The construction and operation of a commercial-scale DIRECT TO ETHANOL® facility will add as many 4,000 jobs to a local economy.