The Oklahoman reports the owner of an Oklahoma City power plant has an idea to produce an algae feed product that will cut CO2 emissions from his plant and produce healthier beef.

Don Van Pelt Smith needs about $2.4 million for commercial testing to grow algae using CO2 emissions from his plant which can be used as feed at nearby cattle feedlots to produce meat with more omega-3 fats. Smith is excited about the potential for his idea and its ability to balance the carbon cycle.

The power plant’s exhaust is used to grow the algae in greenhouses where the pH level, temperature and other factors can be controlled. Water is extracted from the algae creating a sludge that will be transported to a feedlot to use as feed.

Oklahoma State University scientists have tested the algae sludge produced by the power plant on a small scale. Cattle will eat the algae with the right formula and focus groups testing the resulting beef are unable to taste a difference in the meat. The omega-3s will make beef more appealing to new consumers.

If Smith is able to fund further testing, he’ll build an algae farm on a plot the size of two football fields near his power plant. He sees the business as a $50 billion business with a model that can be mimicked at other power plants near feedlots.

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