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Superior Ecotech, Upslope Brewery developing new algae technology

12 April 2014, 10:37 pm EDT By Joseph Mayton Tech Times
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It could be a watershed moment for businesses running high on carbon dioxide emissions and a means of bringing together an environmentally-friendly project with a beer company. Superior Ecotech of Boulder, Colorado said the plan is to develop an algae habitation on the roof of Upslope Brewery that can produce massive amounts of clean Omega-3 oils that can be packaged and sold to the wider public.

While the two sides reportedly got off to a rocky start, with the brewery initially not convinced that it would be possible to take the CO2 emitted from the brewing process and make it an environment project that has the potential to be transformed into health supplements and has overall access to clean and environmentally sound processes that do not inflict unnecessary harm on the ecosystems currently being trampled by the search for new health innovations.

The plan is not a complex one. Superior Ecotech said the idea is to take waste from the brewing process, one that emits large amounts of CO2 through fermentation, then harness that gas and push it into the living ecosystem of algae on the roof of the building. The hope is that the company can begin to do similar project transformations at a number of locations.

The company was lately in Houston, Texas, pushing for more funding and grants from Rice University as part of an eco-tech competition that pits startups against each other over new innovative positive ideas.

They are also pushing out looking for crowdsourcing funding on Kickstarter.

A downside, however, of the project has been the fact that Superior Ecotech is mainly a middle-man of sorts, taking the purified oils to other companies, who buy it in order to package it or use it in a number of products, including vegan-friendly spreads and faux butters.

Still, there is a lot of optimism surrounding their efforts, as algae has quickly become a leading supplement for Americans seeking non-animal products for health benefits. With the growing trend towards vegetarianism in the United States and elsewhere, the company believes that its model could become a new and sustainable way of creating environmentally-friendly Omega-3 oils without being forced into the uncertain and volatile aspects of nature.

The greenhouse algae technology was created as part of a team and collaboration with Iowa State University and many observers suggest that breweries are a natural location for such endeavors based on the CO2 emissions that they naturally give off.

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