Greenbelt Resources to partner on duckweed-to-ethanol plant

By Lisa Gibson | June 07, 2017

The Andrew J. Young Foundation, based in Atlanta, has signed a letter of intent to purchase Greenbelt Resources Corp.’s ethanol production technology for a 500,000-gallon-per-year plant to be sited in the southeast U.S. The location and timeline have not been determined, but construction is expected to take 15 months once ground is broken, says Darren Eng, CEO of Greenbelt Resources.

Greenbelt Resources’ proprietary ECOsystem technology will be a $5 million component of a larger, $14 million AJY project to produce ethanol from duckweed grown by local small farmers, according to Greenbelt Resources, based in Paso Robles, California. The project also will educate farmers on growing and selling duckweed. In addition to ethanol, the plant will produce protein concentrate for organic feed mills and food ingredient manufacturers.

ECOsystem is designed to operate on a community scale, Eng says, and has one commercial installation, at Standard Ethanol Pty. Ltd. in New South Wales, Australia, producing 500,000 gallons of ethanol per year from wheat and wheat waste. ECOsystem can handle a variety of feedstocks, with small tweaks for each, he says.

Greenbelt Resources is planning another 500,000-gallon-per-year ethanol plant that will run on brewery waste in Paso Robles, California, according to Eng.