It’s hard to imagine a cement plant going green. Creating cement is a scarily dirty process, and the industry is responsible for about five percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. One Canadian company aims to change that situation. Pond Biofuels, a three-year-old start-up, hopes to capture a cement plant’s carbon emissions in algae. The algae would then be turned into a biofuel and used to fuel cement kilns and company trucks.
Pond Biofuels will grow its algae right next to Ontario’s St. Mary’s cement plant. The plants will absorb the cement plant’s emissions, growing into a nutrient-rich algae slime. Pond Biofuels will then use industrial waste heat from the cement plant to dry out the algae and turn it into a biofuel. The company then hopes to use that fuel along with fossil fuels to power cement kilns and company trucks.
The process is still currently being tested, so we’ll have to stay tuned to see how the whole idea shakes out. Still, the idea of synergy between industrial companies and biofuel makers should be lauded as innovative. If the project proves successful, similar schemes could be implemented across all sorts of industries.