[ad#The Buzz Sponsor Ad]

UWO research fueling start-up algae venture

August 21, 2013
AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com

Matthew Nelson works with algae in the biology department at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

Matthew Nelson works with algae in the biology department at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh microbiologist Toivo Kallas, along with research assistant Mathew Nelson, presented their latest findings at the sixth annual Wisconsin Science and Technology Symposium for using blue-green algae and the sun’s energy to turn carbon waste into biojet fuel.

Organized by the WiSys Technology Foundation and UW-Superior, the Symposium supports innovative technologies developed in the UW System which have practical applications in the marketplace.

Kallas has more than 30 years of experience studying photosynthetic electron transfer, energy transduction and gene regulation in microalgae. Over the years, more than 70 undergraduate and 22 graduate students have worked on this research, funded by the National Science Foundation, WiSys Technology Foundation and UW Oshkosh.

“Carbon-neutral bioproducts and biofuels will be imperative for a sustainable economy, global ecology and national security,” Kallas said. “Cyanobacteria can help meet this need because they efficiently capture solar energy and turn atmospheric carbon dioxide into carbon polymers.”

The UWO researchers are working with Eric Singsass, of UW-Stevens Point, to genetically engineer the cyanobacteria to increase the amount of isoprene (a precursor to synthetic rubber and aviation fuels) that could be produced from the process. “We are getting some good yields,” Kallas said. “We think it has quite a lot of promise. The basic biology is fun and interesting work, and the practical applications make for a challenging new venture.”

With their success on the project to date, the researchers have applied for a patent through WiSys and have founded a start-up company called Algoma Algal Biotechnology LLC. They are continuing to modify the cyanobacteria in hopes of creating an even more efficient “super strain.”

The next step is to move the research out of the laboratory and into a pilot project with the Environmental Research Innovation Center on the UW Oshkosh campus.

Read More

—Natalie Johnson

More Buzz…

HOME Algae Industry Jobs

Copyright ©2010-2013 AlgaeIndustryMagazine.com. All rights reserved. Permission granted 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.

From The A.I.M. Archives

— Refresh Page for More Choices
Tom Lindfors writes in the New Richmond News about how the Roberts, Wisconsin, wastewater treatment plant – considered a minor utility designed to treat an average flow o...
Cellana, Inc., a leading developer of algae-based products for sustainable nutrition and energy applications, and PIVEG, Inc., a leader in high-specification ingredients ...
Algatechnologies Ltd (Algatech), of Kibbutz Ketura, Israel, has become part of the FoodConnects consortium, as winner of a pan-European competition for the Food4Future pr...
Researchers at Iowa State University, in Ames, Iowa, are developing technology, using algae, that improves the efficiency of wastewater reclamation. The system uses verti...
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii-based Cellana, Inc., a leading developer of algae-based products for sustainable nutrition and energy applications, and Living Ink Technologies of Den...
Aquaculture is the fastest-growing segment in the feed industry. According to the 2017 Alltech Global Feed Survey, the aquaculture industry experienced a 12 percent incre...