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Iowa to Spend $2 Million to Grow Algae for Fuel

Iowa energy officials have approved more than $2 million for an effort to grow algae at a southwest Iowa ethanol plant and use the material to make fuel.

The 18-member Iowa Power Fund Board approved the $2,085,000 grant this week to assist in the commercialization of algae production technology.

The effort is a joint venture of four companies based in Nebraska, Tennessee, Rhode Island and Ireland.

Kevin Lynch, the chief executive of BioProcessAlgae, says the grant will fund an algae production project at an ethanol plant in Shenandoah, Iowa. The company will test its photobioreactor design there.

Officials with the Iowa Office of Energy Independence say the grant will be paid back if the project is commercially successful.