Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about LiqofluxPhenometrics Buy 3 Get 1 Free
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Money

ASU, CSU, NREL share in $3.5 million algae project

October 10, 2017
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Algae ponds at Arizona State University’s Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation. Colorado State University-developed new algae strains will be tested in collaboration with Arizona State University scientists as part of a project led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Credit: AzCATI at Arizona State University

Colorado State University scientists and Arizona State University’s Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation are partners in a three-year grant of up to $3.5 million from the Department of Energy, aimed at improving how algae-based biofuels and bioproducts are made.

The Department of Energy’s Bioenergy Technologies Office has announced its support for the project, titled “Rewiring Algal Carbon Energetics for Renewables,” led by scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado. The funding is part of the federal bioenergy office’s Advanced Algal Systems Program, which had previously awarded $15 million in grants to three other projects.

The multidisciplinary team includes CSU’s Ken Reardon, professor of chemical and biological engineering; Graham Peers, associate professor of biology; and Jason Quinn, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; along with partners at National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Colorado School of Mines, Arizona State University, Utah State University, and representatives from industry.

The overall project goal set by the Department of Energy is to double the yield of biofuel precursors from algae to about 3,700 gallons per acre per year.

Strategies to be used by the team to meet this goal include increasing algal cultivation productivity, optimizing biomass composition, and extracting and separating different types of algal lipids to reduce the cost of upgrading them to renewable diesel.

“How can we get photosynthetic microorganisms — namely algae — to grow faster, and how can we do better at converting that biomass into fuel intermediates?” Dr. Reardon said. “There is a cost piece to it, but the absolute No. 1 target is productivity.”

The researchers will use the algae species Desmodesmus armatus, and will focus on fundamental processes of efficiently channeling carbon dioxide into useful fuel intermediates. A San Diego-based company, Sapphire Energy, is a project partner and has pioneered the use of D. armatus for biofuels.

CSU’s Dr. Peers will lead algae strain development for the project, including novel tools for modifying the D. armatus to maximize its photosynthetic efficiency. His research is in how efficiently algae absorb light and convert that energy to biomass, and how much the process can be improved. “Algae are among the best organisms in the world at fixing carbon into biomass,” he said.

His lab will use tools including CRISPR-CAS 9 genome editing to genetically modify the D. armatus and prepare samples for partners at Arizona State to grow and test at larger scales. “I think the exciting thing about this project is the integration of scales, all the way from strain improvements in our labs to the translation of these changes in outdoor conditions,” Dr. Peers said. “Our overall goal is to connect all the parts associated with biofuel production.”

Dr. Reardon has previously worked on several research projects related to converting biomass into a variety of useful products, including fuels. For this project, his team will work to ferment carbohydrates in the algal cells into chemicals of interest, including ethanol, as well as a fuel precursor called 2,3 butanediol.

Dr. Quinn’s expertise is in sustainability assessment, specifically life cycle and techno-economic analysis. By integrating the advancements of the other scientists into modeling work, Quinn will allow the team to forecast how strain modifications affect the eventual product’s environmental impacts, from start to finish.

Other partners on the project will work on the algae-to-bioproduct life cycle, including modification of growing pond conditions, and separating algal solids from water to remove lipids.

“We’re excited to leverage the strengths of all our partners on this important project,” said project lead Lieve Laurens, senior scientist at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “From building on the work already done by Sapphire with the D. armatus strain to Arizona State University’s manipulation of optimal outdoor conditions and Colorado State University’s research to improve photosynthesis in the strain and fermentation of the sugars — each team member is playing an integral role.”

More Like This…

Copyright ©2010-2019 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission required to reprint this article in its entirety. Must include copyright statement and live hyperlinks. Contact editorial@algaeindustrymagazine.com. A.I.M. accepts unsolicited manuscripts for consideration, and takes no responsibility for the validity of claims made in submitted editorial.

twittertopbarlinks_eventstopbarlinks_requesttopbarlinks_archives

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Trade Arabia reports that the Oman Centre for Marine Biotechnology (OCMB) recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Swedish Algae Factory to support the domestic...
“The Israeli food-tech industry has been growing in leaps and bounds in recent years and is taking a leading role worldwide with a broad range of innovative companies and...
Foodbev.com reports that French marine ingredients company Algaia will install a new specialty seaweed extract unit at its facility in Brittany, France, after securing €4...
Israeli-based Algatechnologies, Ltd. (Algatech), is teaming up with the Italian R&D company, Sphera Encapsulation S.r.l (Sphera), to develop innovative functional ingredi...
Environmental Technology magazine notes that the difficulty in predicting how algae blooms will develop lies in their variform nature. With a multitude of different bloom...
Sophie Kevany writes in Decanter.com that a group of vineyards in France’s Bordeaux and Cognac regions are exploring whether algae can be used to prevent the fungal infec...
The Swiss Algae Consortium Association (SWALG) was founded in May 2018 as a non-profit organization that serves as a platform for algae-related activities in Switzerland ...
AlgaEnergy, a Spanish biotechnology company specializing in the production and commercial applications of microalgae, and Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a leading provide...
London-based architectural and urban design firm ecoLogicStudio www.ecologicstudio.com, led by Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto, has unveiled Photo.Synth.Etica, a large...
Julianna Photopoulos writes in Horizon EU Research and Innovation magazine that UK start-up Skipping Rocks Lab aims to use natural materials extracted from plants and sea...
Dartmouth scientists have created a more sustainable feed for aquaculture by using a marine microalga co-product as a feed ingredient. The study is the first of its kind ...
E.A. Crunden writes in thinkprogress.org that Florida’s first gubernatorial debate was dominated by environmental and climate issues, with an emphasis on the state’s alga...