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Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Company researching lake algae adds office

By William Kincaid
CELINA - Algaeventure Systems, the Marysville-based company conducting the silica test on Grand Lake and researching how to turn algae into a biofuel, now has an office at 1049 West Bank Road.
Chad Hummell, Algaeventure's manager of government, industries and collaborations, on Wednesday said the house is being used for a satellite office and may become a small lab this winter.
Algaeventure Systems CEO Ross Youngs said the Ross Youngs Family Trust officially owns the property, with plans to lease it to the Algaeventure company.
"It becomes a place for some of the activity that we've been doing out there," Youngs said.
Youngs stressed the house contains no employees and the Celina area is just one of many sites being considered by the company for research efforts and operations.
When asked about current operations, Youngs said the company received a technology grant and directed the newspaper to a press release on the company website, adding the release is the only information he is authorized to reveal.
According to press release dated July 30, Algaeventure Systems, Edison Materials Technology Center, the Ohio Aerospace Institute in Cleveland and the Center for Innovative Food Technology are collaborating on a multi-disciplinary effort to explore the technical and economic feasibility of producing aviation fuel for the U.S. Air Force from renewable resources grown in Ohio.
"The primary goal of this collaboration is to find ways to increase power while decreasing fuel consumption, fuel cost and maintenance costs of both military and commercial aviation engines through the exploration of alternative fuel sources, such as algae oil," the release says.
The press release also says the company intends to run a natural lake test of its technology on Grand Lake to determine if it works outside of laboratory environments.
Algaeventure Systems already is leading a test near the Celina Rotary Lighthouse that uses silica (sand) as a food source for good diatom algae to eat and out-compete the lake's dominant harmful blue-green algae.
Also, Celina city officials have applied for a multi-million dollar grant to develop an algae harvesting system that would turn the lake's algae into fertilizer and biofuel. The $3.4 million project would be a collaboration between the city, the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) and Algaeventure Systems, according to Celina Planning and Community Development Director Kent Bryan.
The city is hoping for $2.5 million in federal stimulus money issued through the Ohio Department of Development.
The aim of the project is to collect and convert algae into ash (fertilizer) and biofuel that could possibly fuel city vehicles and a backup generator at the water treatment plant.
Bryan said the grant has been submitted, but he is unsure if it will be approved. The city should know by sometime in November, he said.
Additional online story on this date
WAPAKONETA - The Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum's capital campaign received a jump start last week, thanks to three local businesses.
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