The Boston Globe reported last week that, Robert Metcaff, a principal at Polaris Ventures, has replaced GreenFuels, (previous post) CEO Carry Bulluck as interim CEO. Polaris has invested $6.8 million in the algae to oil company.
Isaac Berzin, founder of Greenfuels, a chemical engineering researcher at MIT, developed a system that captures carbon dioxide from conventional electric power plants into a "bioreactor" that contains water and algae. The CO2 causes the algae to grow, and when harvested can be converted into biofuels. After successful testing in the laboratory, a pilot plant was built in Arizona. The pilot plant has been shut down because an unexpectedly high density limited light and nutrient supply, which caused the algae to start dying and was more costly than expected. Greenfuels has a test facility, shown above, at the APS’ Redhawk Power Plant, located about 50 miles west of Phoenix.
Metcalfe plans to institute an improved technology that costs less and allows for easier harvesting.
To conserve capital Metcaff has cut employment from 43 to 28.
Thanks to Rob Day for the tip