Tulare algae farm breaking ground

Pacific Algae Oil has leased four acres next to the Tulare city treatment plant to build a pilot production plant that would turn algae into oils to be used for bio jet fuel.

The company uses CO2 generated from the city’s fuel cell operations and piped to the growing area. The algae grow in tubes and are seeded to tubs where the CO2 is bubbled. Before the oil is extracted the algae are netted and dried on racks.

The pilot project has university research interest, said Lew Nelson, city public works director.

Nelson said the company broke ground on the project this week. He expects plenty of visitors since “algae farming has worldwide interest,” he said.