MSU/PHYCO2 form algae tech collaboration
September 16, 2015
ichigan State University (MSU) and PHYCO2, an algae growth and CO2 sequestration company based in Santa Maria, CA, have entered into a partnership to develop algae technologies produced from PHYCO2’s patented concept that promotes algae growth and captures carbon dioxide from power plant emissions.
Under the collaborative research agreement, MSU and PHYCO2 will investigate the performance of PHYCO2’s algae photo bioreactor technology that continuously captures significant amounts of CO2 and grows algae with LED light.
The work will be done at MSU’s Pilot Anaerobic Digestion/Algal Cultivation Facility. Located at the Simon Power Plant, 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.
MSU and PHYCO2 expect to be able to absorb up to 80 percent of captured CO2 emissions for the production of algae. MSU will be testing the growth of several algae strains and post processing of the algae that is grown.
The project’s goals are to cost-effectively grow algae while significantly absorbing CO2 for sequestration from the gas emissions at the power plant. The algae can then be sold into current markets for biofuels, bioplastics and other applications.
“MSU has always been on the forefront of cutting-edge research and development,” said Robert Ellerhorst, director of utilities at the MSU power plant. “Our collaborative work with developers fits MSU’s research agenda to solve the world’s problems – in this case, reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”