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Greenbelt Resources, Andrew J. Young Foundation to Co-Develop Duckweed Biorefinery

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Greenbelt Resources Corp., Paso Robles, Calif., USA, an innovator of sustainable energy production systems, this week signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) by the Andrew J. Young (AJY) Foundation, Atlanta, Ga., to build a biorefinery in the southeast U.S. featuring Greenbelt's proprietary ECOsystem technology. The Duckweed Project, being developed by The AJY Foundation, is designed to empower small farmers by providing technical knowledge on growing duckweed as a cash crop and selling duckweed as a biofeed to the biorefinery. 

When complete, Greenbelt's $5.0 million ECOsystem project, a critical component of the estimated $14.0 million total project cost, will produce up to 500,000 gal. of bioethanol per year, along with a protein concentrate that will be sold to organic feed mills and food ingredient manufacturers. The biorefinery is expected to be operational 15 months after breaking ground. 

"We are honored to be selected by such a world renowned organization as The Andrew J. Young Foundation to provide our ECOsystem technology as an integral part of their new duckweed program," said Darren Eng, Greenbelt's CEO. "We believe the LOI conveys a strong sense of conviction on the part of The AJY Foundation that our proven technology is the best fit for replicating and further developing community-scale biorefinery models." 

A USDA-funded feasibility study conducted by Agregy Renewables on behalf of The AJY Foundation outlines a commercialization plan focused on financing and developing as many as 20 more duckweed biorefineries over an eight-to-ten-year timeframe, initially in the southeast and western U.S. and then across the globe. If fully deployed, the commercialization plan represents more than $100 million in potential project revenues for Greenbelt over the next eight to ten years.

When looking at the viability of the ECOSystem technology, the report found that Greenbelt's technology "has been proven to be very cost effective and energy and operationally efficient at the small scale of operation for the Duckweed Project...recent commercial plant installations including Greenbelt's test-bed facility in Paso Robles, Calif., have shown to be technically viable to convert a wide range of biomass feedstocks to ethanol, animal feed, and fertilizer. It has therefore been determined that the proposed Duckweed Project and program is solid and technically feasible."

From a global perspective, The AJY Foundation believes that duckweed, a small, fast growing, protein rich, aquatic plant that floats on the water's surface, can play a vital role in providing solutions to alleviate hunger and malnutrition and address food insecurity, water contamination issues, droughts ,and provide clean energy. On a local scale, The AJY Foundation believes duckweed can revolutionize the agricultural landscape by providing an alternative cash crop for farmers that would revitalize impoverished rural communities with new jobs, training, and business and educational opportunities.

 

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