OMAHA – Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. and BioProcess Algae LLC announced preliminary trials using algae as poultry feed was successful. Algae strains produced for the feed trials demonstrated high energy and protein content that was readily available, similar to other high-value feed products used in the feeding of poultry today, according to the companies.

Algae strains used in the feed trials were grown in BioProcess Algae’s Grower Harvester reactors co-located with Green Plains’ ethanol plant in Shenandoah, Iowa. The test was conducted with the Univ. of Illinois led by Dr. Carl Parsons, an poultry-science researcher.

“This was the first time we tested algae as a poultry feed-product and many of the qualities found were similar to high protein soymeal, but with higher energy content,” Parsons said.

“Based on these first-round tests, we will continue the development of this and other high-quality animal feed products from our algae,” said Tim Burns, chief executive officer of BioProcess Algae. “We will proceed with further testing for poultry and begin evaluating a replacement product for fishmeal. We can now look into the opportunity to use algae as a ‘carrier’ for higher value products going into poultry feed such as Omega-3s.

“We believe this may be one of the first times that carbon dioxide absorbed from an industrial source was used to grow and harvest algae that performed well in feed trials,” he added. “With our Grower Harvester reactors at commercial scale, we will continue to focus on driving our cost of production down with a larger build-out of reactors at the Green Plains Shenandoah ethanol plant over the next several months in order to profitably supply feedstock for food, feed and fuel markets.”

The testing found in addition to the high energy and protein content, amino acid profiles similar to existing feed components. The Univ. of Missouri analyzed the results and provided an independent third-party validation.

BioProcess Algae LLC is a joint venture among Clarcor Inc., a global provider of filtration products, BioProcessH2O LLC, a wastewater purification technology company, Green Plains Renewable Energy, and the international renewable energy group NTR plc, which builds and runs green energy and resource-sustaining businesses. BioProcess Algae was created to commercialize advanced photo-bioreactor technologies for producing high-quality, low-cost feedstocks for human nutrition, animal feed and biofuels.

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. is North America’s fourth-largest ethanol producer. It markets and distributes approximately 1 billion gallons of renewable motor fuel on an annual basis, including 740 million gallons of expected production from the company’s nine ethanol plants located throughout the US.