IRVINE, Calif., July 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VSPC), a clean energy company growing Giant King™ Grass as a low-carbon, renewable biomass crop and its subsidiary VIASPACE Green Energy Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VGREF), reported today that a potential customer in Europe has conducted extensive laboratory tests on Giant King Grass pellets.
The customer was not identified. The energy content of Giant King Grass pellets was found to be 18.6 MJ per kilogram on a dry basis. This is equivalent to 8000 BTU per pound or 4450 kcal per kilogram in alternative units. Many other properties were measured. The pellets themselves had a lower heating value (LHV) of 15.7 megajoules per kilogram at the 8% moisture level of the pellets.
The test data confirmed earlier results by other customers and laboratories.
VIASPACE Giant King Grass pellets are being considered for application in coal-fired electricity power plants in Europe to reduce their carbon emissions. Up to 20% of the coal in existing power plants can be replaced by biomass without major modifications. This process, called co-firing, preserves the large capital investment in existing power plants and is an attractive option for utilities. Since Giant King Grass absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it grows, the carbon dioxide emissions released from burning Giant King Grass is reabsorbed by the next crop making the process carbon neutral. European power plants are mandated to reduce their carbon emissions, and co-firing is a widespread practice that is projected to increase significantly in the future. Discussions are underway with several customers in Europe.A General Biofuels team was hosted by VIASPACE at its 280 acre (110 ha) Giant King Grass plantation near Guangzhou in southern China during the week of July 17, 2011. As was previously announced, VIASPACE and General Biofuels are working toward a joint venture to grow a large plantation of Giant King Grass in the Dominican Republic that would be co-located with a 400,000 ton per year pellet mill. The pellets are slated for the European power plant market. Wood pellets currently sell in Europe for euro 120 or $174 per ton. Pellets are shipped in bulk by ship. According to Biomass Magazine Online on July 14, 2011 which conducted an interview, VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen said, "While agricultural pellets such as GKG pellets generally have slightly lower energy content and produce more ash than wood pellets, there will eventually be a need for a wood pellet substitute because of growing world demand and the slower growth rate of trees. 'Giant King Grass can be planted and harvested in the first four to six months, whereas a tree, if you're looking at sustainable growth, can take four to 20 years.'" The Biomass Magazine article can be accessed at http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/5653/viaspace-eyes-overseas-pellet-opportunities Pictures of Giant King Grass pellets can be found at www.VIASPACE.com and www.VIASPACEGreenEnergy.com. About VIASPACE Inc. VIASPACE is a clean energy company providing products and technology for renewable and alternative energy that reduce or eliminate dependence on fossil and high-pollutant energy sources. Through its majority-owned subsidiary VIASPACE Green Energy Inc., the Company grows Giant King Grass as a low-carbon fuel for electricity generating power plants, as a feedstock for bio methane production and cellulosic biofuels such as ethanol and butanol, and for biochemicals and bioplastics. For more information, please go to www.VIASPACE.com or www.VIASPACEGreenEnergy.com or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or IR@VIASPACE.com. Safe Harbor Statement Information in this news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, as well as general economic and business conditions; the ability to acquire and develop specific products and technologies; changes in consumer and business demand for the Company's products; competition from larger companies; changes in demand for alternative and clean energy; risks associated with international transactions; risks related to technological change; and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control. SOURCE VIASPACE Inc.