Combining algae, geothermal to produce biofuel
A unique algae technology company has been named by the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association and the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship as one of six finalists that will compete in the 2012 Tulane Business Plan Competition and Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge. The company, ReactWell LLC, is affiliated with Tulane University.
According to information published by the TEA, ReactWell is developing an underground geothermal reactor system that can economically produce and sell crude oil, bioproducts, and high-value oils while increasing biomass growth rates. The algae-based advanced biofuel technology is described as combining geothermal technology, open-pond algae raceways and solar energy to cultivate algae, producing green crude.
Information published by the DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) as part of its 2012 Energy Innovation Summit further explains that the company is developing an underground thermochemical aqueous phase oil extraction and biomass conversion process. The technology features a patent-pending underground reactor. According to information published by ARPA-E, the underground thermochemical technology naturally generates the pressure and temperature required for biomass conversion reactions.
The company’s Twitter feed notes several achievements the company has made in recently months, including winning a DOE national Geothermal Academy scholarship. The company has also announced winning an Autodesk Clean Tech SIM CFD Multiphysics Advanced Grant.
Regarding the Tulane Business Plan Competition, ReactWell is eligible to win a $50,000 award. The competition focuses specifically on conscious capitalism and makes the award to the company that creates the best sustainable business model. The Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge will also award $20,000 to the company that presents the best plan for the creation or expansion of a New Orleans-based business model that demonstrates strong growth potential and positive local impact.