NAB names MBD Energy Innovation Award Winner

Tuesday, 06 December, 2011

An Australian company developing a process to capture and recycle waste flue gas emissions from large-scale stationary emitters, such as coal-fired power stations, into nutritious animal feeds and biofuels has won a prestigious 2011 NAB Agribusiness Award for Excellence.

MBD Energy took out the award for Innovation in New and Emerging Industries, which was sponsored by the Australian Government’s Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. MBD Energy was also a finalist for the Technology and Innovation Award.

“We’re very pleased and excited to have won this important award. Monash and NAB’s acknowledgement of our work underscores the scale and significance of this emerging new area of growth and investment within the economy,” said Andrew Lawson, Managing Director of MBD Energy Limited.

“Not only are innovations such as ours of significant potential benefit to business, they also offer new approaches to tackling fundamental issues related to carbon emissions abatement and Australia’s resources and energy security.”

The NAB Agribusiness awards recognise the achievements of individuals and businesses in nine key agribusiness areas, including new technology, emerging markets, environmental management and rural enterprise. The awards were announced at a gala dinner in Melbourne last night.

MBD Energy is successfully developing downstream potential commercial applications for its algal synthesis process including animal feed, food and fuel. As a first step, the company will begin trialling the production of nutritious algal biomass suited to the manufacture of nutritious low-methane producing feed. Tests using the algal meal, which has a similar nutritional profile to soy meal, are expected to focus on cattle, pigs and poultry.

The trials follow MBD’s construction of a one-hectare Algal Synthesiser display plant at Tarong Power Station in South East Queensland. The facility is due to be completed next year.

“We’re looking forward to commissioning the Tarong Algal Synthesiser display plant in the New Year and determining the potential commercial applications for the technology at a larger scale,” said Lawson. Subject to success with the trials, MBD hopes to use the Tarong one-hectare submodule as a blueprint for a potentially much larger, commercial-scale Algal Synthesiser facility at one or more of the three Australian coal-fired power stations MBD has agreements with.

Compelling features of the technology include an approach that produces comparatively low-cost, algae biomass that offers downstream commodities production potential. The systems may be suitable for retrofit to a wide range of stationary emitters including smelters, refineries and agricultural waste producers.

MBD’s algal synthesis aims to use captured waste CO2 as an essential nutrient to promote the rapid production of algal biomass potentially suited to a range of commercial applications.

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