03 October 2013 – Earlier this week, the USDA announced that it has funded a Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) initiative to the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association (VFDA), who are partnering with CAAFI, General Systems Research, the Nordic Dairy Farm, and Fiddlehead Brewery. The project takes an innovative approach in developing a unique heterotrophic algae fuel technology system fed by brewery and dairy waste streams. All four of the partners joined Vermont State Agriculture Secretary Chuck Ross for an announcement at the Nordic Farm in Charlotte, Vermont, which will be the proving ground for the feasibility of this new technological approach.
This is the latest State-level effort supported by the "Farm to Fly 2.0" initiative. Farm to Fly 2.0 was signed by FAA, USDA and CAAFI industry sponosrs in April 2013.
Key to the project is technology being developed by General Systems Research of Burlington Vermont under the guidance of Dr. Anju Dahiya. By proving the feasibility of this cool-weather approach to algal fuel production, the project is designed to lead to the establishment of pilot programs in nearby Vermont counties that have the highest concentration of dairies in the country. Success of the technology could lead to commercialization in the northern U.S. from New England to Wisconsin, southern Quebec in Canada and areas with similar agricultural and industrial resources in other continents.
A VTDigger.org article on the RBEG announcement and project can be found here.