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Ventura receives $2 million in funding

Ventura, which is a subsidy of biodiesel company Biodico, has been given a $2 million (€1.5 million) grant from the California Energy Commission and will use the funds to produce renewable energy and biodiesel at Biodico’s 10 million gallon a year facility which is being built in Port Hueneme, California.

At the facility, process heat and power will be generated through the use of solar energy, which will produce 20kW of electricity and 80kW of heat. A gasifier will generate 20kW from inedible oil seeds and solids, and algae biomass will also be used to produce 20kW of power and 19kW of heat.

Not only this, but an anaerobic digestion system will be used to turn biodiesel glycerin into 20kW of power and 19kW of heat through a co-generation system.

If these technologies are scaled up then they will be able to produce 25 times more electricity and nine times more heat than what is required for the biorefinery operations, so this will be fed onto the grid.

Biodico president, Russell Teall, says: ‘The objective is to produce all of our process heat and energy on site from renewable resources, and to use innovative approaches to cultivate low impact feedstocks for biodiesel production.  This will substantially reduce our carbon footprint.’

The company also plans to undertake research into the development of viable biofuel feedstocks. The experiments will be carried out at four UC Davis agricultural research centres, which have varying agricultural conditions.