A Rhode Island-based biofuels company broke ground this week on an expansion of its operation at a southwest Iowa plant. BioProcess Algae opened a demonstration plant in 2009 at the Green Plains Energy ethanol plant in Shenandoah. The facility takes the waste products left over from the ethanol plant, and uses them to grow algae.

The algae is then used in animal feed. BioProcess C.E.O., Tim Burns, says a successful trial last summer of the algae’s use in other products led to the expansion of the Shenandoah facility. “So we’re working with companies now for fish meal replacements and omega oils that are higher-value oils that we’ll be putting out from the farm,” Burns says.

BioProcess plans to begin selling the product made at the new plant in the third quarter of this year. “We are working across the whole platform with companies from the fuel industry to the feed and food industries,” Burns explains. He says their product has shown a lot of versatility.

“Algae has opportunities, has different strengths that can be taken advantage of and grown that can be plugged in to those markets,” Burns says. Construction on the BioProcess facility is expected to be complete in June.