VIASPACE Press Release
VIASPACE CEO DISCUSSES GIANT KING GRASS AT BIOFUELS CONFERENCE IN MEXICO CITY
Presentation Outlines Viability as Energy Crop and Opportunities in Multiple Markets
Irvine, CA- October 13, 2009-VIASPACE Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: VSPC), a clean energy company growing Giant King Grass as a renewable, low carbon, energy crop, today released a summary of a presentation by Chief Executive Dr. Carl Kukkonen at the Biofuels Markets, Mexico & Central America Executive Briefing on October 7, 2009. The conference in Mexico City was held to discuss sustainability, regional policies, future feedstock, and production of biofuels.
The use of food crops, such as corn and soybeans, to produce ethanol is under attack by claims that diverting food to energy production contributes to world hunger. Other biomass like agricultural and forestry waste-for example, cornstalks and wood chips-are being used to produce energy, but supplies are variable in quality and insufficient for large-scale needs.
Kukkonen said that crops dedicated to the energy markets are needed. An energy crop that is fast-growing and high in yield would make efficient use of land and, moreover, should be able to grow on marginal land not being used for food crops. The crop should be a cost competitive energy source in addition to reducing carbon emissions.
According to Kukkonen, Giant King Grass has the highest per-acre yield of known energy crops, and its growing characteristics make it suitable for large-scale, long-term farming. Independent testing has confirmed its energy value, and it is carbon neutral; the carbon dioxide emitted when it is burned is offset by the absorption of carbon dioxide during its growth.
Kukkonen reiterated that VIASPACE is now growing Giant King Grass as a dedicated energy crop and is developing business relationships with electric-power providers and producers of second-generation, non-food biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol and green gasoline. "Opportunities in multiple markets allow for diversified revenue sources and the efficiencies of scale in large energy farms."
"For example, VIASPACE recently signed a memorandum of understanding with DPCleanTech, which has built and is operating 19 power plants fueled entirely by biomass," Kukkonen remarked. "DPCleanTech has been using agricultural waste for fuel, but they tested Giant King Grass and found it suitable for their power plants. Just one of DPCleanTech's 30 megawatt (MW) power plants would need 175,000 metric tons of Giant King Grass per year; and the market for agricultural waste is currently around $36 per ton."
"Giant King Grass can also be processed into pellets that can potentially replace up to 20% of coal in existing electric-power plants and reduce carbon emissions by that same percentage," Kukkonen continued. "For a single 2,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant, replacing 20% of the coal with Giant King Grass pellets would require approximately 2.3 million tons of biomass pellets per year. Biomass energy pellets are currently selling for more than $100 per ton."
Other markets for Giant King Grass include natural gas (methane) production using anaerobic digestion and generating electricity by burning the natural gas in a small gas turbine; and liquid biofuels-cellulosic ethanol, methanol, green gasoline- that can replace gasoline for transportation. Conversion into paper, pressed-wood products, and biomass-based chemicals are other potential markets.
Kukkonen added: "Giant King Grass has the potential to be used in a number of large-scale applications and is not restricted to a single market like bio-diesel. This crop is extremely productive, and we believe it can be highly profitable. We are now growing crops in southern China, but we looking for partners and opportunities worldwide."
Kukkonen's presentation and updated pictures of Giant King Grass are available on the VIASPACE website at http://www.viaspace.com/.
About VIASPACE Inc.: VIASPACE is an alternative energy company providing products and technology for renewable and clean energy that reduce or eliminate dependence on fossil and high-risk-pollutant energy sources. The Company provides raw material for cellulosic biofuels and develops and markets fuel cell cartridges, products and technology. VIASPACE subsidiary Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Corporation owns a portfolio of fuel cell patents licensed from Pasadena-based California Institute of Technology (Caltech), which manages NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where the direct methanol fuel cell was invented. For more information, please see http://www.viaspace.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 and include 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, 2008, 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.