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MSU, PHYCO2 collaborate on algae demonstration project

March 11, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Phyco2-logoSanta Maria, CA-based PHYCO2, an emerging algae growth and carbon dioxide sequestration company, and Michigan State University (MSU), have announced a partnership designed to generate sustainable, clean energy sources through a new method to produce algae.

The partnership will demonstrate the patent-pending PHYCO2-developed technology to sequester CO2, reclaim water and continuously grow multiple types of algae at an accelerated rate without sunlight.  The goal of the demonstration project is to meet the growing demand for algae for biofuels, pharmaceuticals, foods and other purposes.

“This project allows us to be where we thrive – on the cutting edge of technology,” said Robert Ellerhorst, director of utilities at the MSU Power Plant. “This joint effort is one of several steps in MSU’s efforts to make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from our campus power plant.”

The Dow Chemical Co. played a role in forging the partnership and will validate the performance, mass and energy balance of these demonstrations throughout the 18-month project, which is currently underway at MSU.

The technology will be tested at MSU’s Pilot Anaerobic Digestion/Algal Cultivation Facility located in the T.B. Simon Power Plant, in coordination with researchers Wei Liao and Susie Liu, faculty members in MSU’s Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering.

The facility was built to comprehensively research and develop anaerobic digestion, algal cultivation, and associated technologies with emphasis on bioenergy production and environment protection. The facility includes a half-acre algal open-pond, a 250,000 gallon bioreactor, and two 1,000-square-foot laboratories equipped with advanced analytical instrumentation.

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