Navigation Links
Algae from the ocean a sustainable energy source of the future
Date:6/26/2008

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- Research by two Kansas State University scientists could help with the large-scale cultivation and manufacturing of oil-rich algae in oceans for biofuel.

K-State's Zhijian "Z.J." Pei, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering, and Wenqiao "Wayne" Yuan, assistant professor of biological and agricultural engineering, have received a $98,560 Small Grant for Exploratory Research from the National Science Foundation to study solid carriers for manufacturing algae biofuels in the ocean.

Algae are a diverse and simple group of organisms that live in or near water. Certain algal species are high in oil content that could be converted into such fuels as biodiesel, according to Pei and Yuan. Algae also have several environmentally-friendly advantages over corn or other plants used for biofuels, including not needing soil or fresh water to grow.

Pei and Yuan plan to identify attributes of algae and properties of materials that enable growth of certain algae species on solid carriers. Solid carriers float on the water surface for algae to attach to and grow on.

"Not all materials are equally suitable to make these carriers," Yuan said. "Some materials are better for algal attachment and growth than others, and we will be identifying what those 'good' materials are."

The project could help with the design of major equipment for manufacturing algae biofuels from the ocean, including solid carriers, in-the-ocean algae harvesting equipment and oil extraction machines, Pei said.

"This research aims to develop a cost-effective process for growing algae on solid carriers in the ocean for biofuel manufacturing," he said. "If successful, it will greatly benefit the energy security of the United States, as well as society in general."

The research will be conducted with a two-step approach.

"Selected algae species will be grown on solid carriers in a simulated ocean environment and will be evaluated for their ability to attach to solid carriers and grow in seawater, their biomass productivity, and their oil content," Pei said. "Top-ranked species in step one will be selected to test the performance of several carrier materials, including natural organic, synthetic organic and inorganic materials, with the same evaluation parameters as in step one."

Pei said the properties of the highly-ranked carriers also will be analyzed.

Yuan, who has studied biodiesel for several years, said the major problem with making the fuel has been finding sustainable oil and fat sources.

"Algae seems to be the only promising sustainable oil source for biodiesel production," he said. "In my lab, we have several different projects involving algae and we have been trying different ways to grow it. We have already obtained some encouraging results."

Pei said the project also will have an educational benefit, with K-State College of Engineering graduate and undergraduate students to be involved in the multidisciplinary research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Zhijian "Z.J." Pei
zpei@k-state.edu
785-532-3436
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study involving more than 100 scientists provides new insights on green algae
2. Green algae -- the nexus of plant/animal ancestry
3. Montana State University researcher finds renewed interest in turning algae into fuel
4. Algae could one day be major hydrogen fuel source
5. Harmful algae taking advantage of global warming
6. TAU scientists probe deep questions aboard EcoOceans environmental research ship
7. NASA celebrates a decade observing climate impacts on health of worlds oceans
8. CO2 emissions could violate EPA ocean-quality standards within decades
9. NASA celebrates a decade observing climate impacts on health of worlds oceans
10. Scientists, policymakers and industry leaders gather to discuss ocean iron fertilization
11. Acid oceans warning
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... SEATTLE , April 5, 2017  The Allen ... the Allen Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic ... large-scale 3D imaging data, the first application of deep ... edited human stem cell lines and a growing suite ... the platform for these and future publicly available resources ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2017)... RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. , April 27, 2017 ... ) today announced that its Board of Directors authorized ... company,s common stock. This program will became effective immediately, ... may be made in the open market, accelerated share ... time as determined by United Therapeutics, management and in ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Arrowhead Publishers is pleased ... is coming to San Diego, CA on September 27-28, 2017. Leaders from the ... latest advances in the treatment of various types of pain. There are also ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... The Council for Agricultural ... to Jayson Lusk, a consummate communicator who promotes agricultural science and technology in ... as he explains how innovation and growth in agriculture are critical for food ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... Alto, CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... April 26, ... ... popular seminar on FDA’s GMP expectations for phase I clinical trials comes to ... attended by various biotechnology and pharma professionals representing FDA regulated organizations such as ...
Breaking Biology Technology: