What that means is that the emerging company's Algae Development Center in Casa Grande will soon be the site of a 40-acre commercial production site that could help revolutionize agriculture.
Work continues at the algae center in Casa Grande, where the company has a patent pending on the XL Super Trough it developed here. The Super Trough is expected to go into production on a full-sized, 40-acre plot here in November, a size XL officials consider ideal for algae biomass production.
"It's an actual site so we can demonstrate, running it at a commercial level," Cloud explained. "We expect farmers will take the 40-acre size" and operate multiple-trough fields. Visitors from around the world are expected for a November field day at the site. Eventually, the company hopes to sell the system to farmers for commercial production and wants to begin delivery by January. Installation costs should be about $25,000 per acre.
XL also plans to develop a 400-acre algae farm and processing facility near Vicksburg in western Arizona, 100 miles due west of Phoenix near Interstate 10. More than 20,000 tons of biomass could be processed at the proposed facility, and the company has more than 2,400 acres to expand production.
"There's a tremendous amount of capital being invested in algae development right now. Our focus has been to demonstrate that you can produce algae economically using proven farm practices. We believe people just need the right tools to produce algae. We want to offer our trough technology to other growers so they can grow algae as well."
The XL Super Trough uses a miniature greenhouse-type process to produce the algae in laser-leveled, 18-inch-deep, 1,250-foot-long troughs.
Mechanized equipment installs specially designed plastic liner sheets with integrated aeration and lighting systems along 6-foot-wide troughs. An optional plastic sheet called "mulch" can be installed on top of the trough to make it a closed system and increase algae production during cooler temperatures.
There are no moving parts, and the only connection points are at the ends of the troughs. Fortified water is pumped clear through the 40-acre field in 24 hours at a rate of 2,000 gallons per minute. Half of the flow - 1,000 gallons per minute - is then diverted into the harvest system, and 950 gallons of that is recirculated into the fields. Fifty gallons of algae concentrate is pumped into harvesting and can be transported to a central processing plant.