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PGE aims to turn Boardman coal-plant pollution into biofuel
PGE and renewable energy developer Columbia Energy Partners announced Thursday that they had begun a pilot project for the algae venture at the utility's Boardman facility in Morrow County.
The experiment siphons off some of the coal plant's CO2 emissions and feeds them to six 12-foot-long tubs of algae sitting on a nearby flatbed truck.
During photo synthesis, the algae gobble up the CO2 and release oxygen into the air. Oil is squeezed out of the mature algae and used to produce a clean-burning biodiesel.
The residue -- a starchy goo -- is turned into ethanol, an alternative to gasoline, and livestock feed.
"This is an opportunity to make a real meaningful difference," said Steve Corson, a PGE spokesman.