Video tour: Pond Biofuels turns cement plant emissions into algae

I had the opportunity this week to visit a St. Marys Cement plant in the small and scenic town of St. Marys, Ontario. A subsidiary of Brazilian cement giant Votorantim Cimentos, the company is working with Toronto-based Pond Biofuels on a project that turns smokestack emissions from the plant into algae. The algae, based on a strain taken from the local Thames River, gobble up CO2, SOx, NOx and other pollutants that are piped into special algae photobioreactors, two of which are housed in a pilot facility located beside the plant. The algae are harvested and can be dried using low-grade waste heat from the cement plant’s kilns. The dried algae can then be burned in the plant’s kilns instead of petroleum coke, helping to reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions. Alternatively — and if the economics justify it — the algae can be processed into biodiesel and other green fuels/chemicals.

I decided, for the first time, to take a video camera with me and film a walkthrough of the pilot facility to give my readers a better sense of how this all works. I’m new to this whole video and movie editing game, but I did manage to put something decent together, which I post here as a YouTube upload. It’s nearly 10 minutes long, but if you’re interested in the process you may find it worth watching. Like I said, it’s my first time doing this — I would appreciate any constructive feedback.

6 thoughts on “Video tour: Pond Biofuels turns cement plant emissions into algae”

  1. Enjoyed the video! Nice to see your move to doing some V-Blogging. I have only attempted to edit one video before, and met with failure, trying to use the Window built-in video editing (hey- its free, but in this case, I got what I paid for;-). Yours came out much better. Only comments- don’t fall too in love with the zoom, and the ends of some comments are fading too quickly (but I’m half-deaf, so…).

    Again though- very good video, especially for a first one- look forward to viewing more of your new-found talent;-)

  2. Loved the video. Getting a look into the interior of the operations like that is so interesting. I agree with Katie, keep ’em coming! Depending on your camera that the frequency of video tours like this, you might consider investing in a small cordless mic.

  3. Good work with the video Tyler. I do a lot of this kind of stuff with my video work (but there’s usually some sort of horrible weather in the background). You’ll find that a lav mic will help in a huge way to keep the narration sound consistent.

    Really interesting piece. I pass by the plant on my way to the cottage all the time and I’ve wondered if they could do something with the emissions. Nice to know that they’re trying.

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