Click here for more information about Algenuity
Click here for more information about Liqofluxphenometrics515R1
Visit cricatalyst.com!Evodos Separation Technology

Research

UConn researchers turning seaweed into biofuel

November 26, 2017
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

UConn Professor Charles Yarish poses with two jugs of seaweed at the Marine Biotechnology Lab at the UConn-Stamford campus. Dr. Yarish is at the forefront of seaweed R&D, helping to develop new technologies to convert the algae into fuel.
 


Photo: Charlotte Weber/WSHU

UConn Professor Charles Yarish has spent his career studying seaweed, and he just got news that the federal government is going to fund one of his dream projects. The grant from the Department of Energy is $5.7 million, and will go to Dr. Yarish and colleagues at the University of Connecticut and a team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Their goal is to figure out if it would be viable to mass produce seaweed for use as biofuel in the federal waters 12 to 200 miles off the New England coast. That area has been designated by the U.N. as an exclusive economic zone.

“We haven’t been able to exploit this zone for areas of farming, and just imagine if you can grow seaweeds like kelp…this can propel a major industry in the U.S. for this type of aquaculture,” says Dr. Yarish.

The research team has been collecting samples of kelp, and growing them in their lab at the UConn-Stamford campus. Dr. Yarish keeps the seaweed in a refrigerated chamber that’s like an industrial walk-in fridge. To get from little, fuzzy, refrigerated kelp balls to mass production, they first need to develop the technology to be able to create a lot of kelp seed.

“We then have to develop the type of kelp that can withstand the rigors of the North Atlantic Ocean during the winter months,” he says.

Then they’ll work to figure out the most efficient way to cultivate the kelp. After they’ve done that, Dr. Yarish says they will be able to produce massive quantities of seaweed for biofuel “in a way that would cost less than $80 a ton.”

And, he says, mass producing seaweed comes with some extra benefits, too, like improving animal feed. “Today we now know that if you give animals, like cows and sheep, some seaweed in their diet, that can actually cut down on their methane gas production.”

Dr. Yarish’s project is one of 18 being funded by the Department of Energy to realize the potential of seaweed as biofuel. Marc von Keitz oversees the projects for the Department’s MARINER (Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources) program. “Dr. Yarish has been kind of the father of macroalgae in the U.S…,” Dr. Von Keitz said. “His laboratory has established a lot of methodologies already that are crucial in this project.”

Dr. Von Keitz says that in four years all of the MARINER projects will be completed, including one in Maine, and another in Massachusetts, aimed at increasing the efficiency of seaweed farming. By that point he hopes seaweed can become big business in the U.S.

This report comes from the New England News Collaborative, eight public media companies coming together to tell the story of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Read More

More Like This…

HOME A.I.M. Archives

Copyright ©2010-2018 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
Benedict O’Donnell writes in the EU Research and Innovation magazine, Horizon, about research being developed on seaweed as a biological, environmentally friendly, sustai...
Forbes is running an interview with Bren Smith, an Ashoka Fellow and the founder of GreenWave, an organization dedicated to restoring oceans, mitigating climate change an...
Discovering which algae species is best suited to make biofuel is no small task. Researchers have tried to evaluate algae in test tubes, but often find lab results don’t ...
For algal biofuels to compete with petroleum, farming algae has to become less expensive. Toward that goal, Sandia National Laboratories is testing strains of algae for r...
The genome of the fuel-producing green microalga Botryococcus braunii has been sequenced by a team of researchers led by a group at Texas A&M AgriLife Research. The r...
Diane Stopyra writes in Salon.com that a growing number of coastal states around the country are undertaking large-scale seaweed farming projects. While farms are underwa...
Marlene Cimons, nexusmedianews.com reports that researchers at the University of California San Diego and Sapphire Energy have successfully grown a genetically engineered...
Algatech has announced the opening of Algatech Inc., a New York City-based subsidiary created to serve the North American market. The company has appointed Ken Seguine to...
The recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) of three projects to receive up to $8 million, aimed at reducing the costs of producing algal biofuels and ...
Researchers at ETH Zurich, Empa and the Norwegian research institute SINTEF are pursuing a new approach to treating arthritis. This is based on a polysaccharide, a long-c...
The Department of Energy has just announced $22 million in funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for 18 innovative projects as part of the...
Jeff Gelsky writes in Meat+Poultry that Corbion executives have given insights on how its September 29 acquisition of TerraVia Holdings Inc., an algae-based ingredients c...