Groundbreaking Nanofarming Tech for Algae

Groundbreaking “nanofarming” technology that safely harvests oil from the algae so the pond-based “crop” can keep on producing has been developed by researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University.

The “nanofarming” technology uses nanoparticles to extract oil from the algae. The process doesn’t harm the algae like other methods being developed, which helps reduce both production costs and the production cycle. Once the algal oil is extracted, a separate and proven solid catalyst from Catilin will be used to produce ASTM and EN certified biodiesel.

Commercialization of this new technology is at the center of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between the Ames Laboratory and Catilin, a nano-technology-based company that specializes in biofuel production. The agreement targets development of this novel approach to reduce the cost and energy consumption of the industrial processing of non-food source biofuel feedstock.

The three-year project is being funded with $885,000 from DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and $216,000 from Catilin and $16,000 from Iowa State University in matching funds.

According to Marek Pruski, Ames Laboratory senior physicist and co-investigator on the project, phase one and two of the project will cover the culturing and selection of microalgae as well as the development of the specific nanoparticle-based extraction and catalyst technologies for the removal of algal oil and the production of biodiesel, respectively. Phase three will focus on scale-up of the catalyst and pilot plant testing on conversion to biodiesel.

“When we ultimately put together this exceptional extraction technology with Catilin’s existing solid biodiesel catalyst, we will dramatically increase the reality of renewable energy,” said Catilin’s CEO, Larry Lenhart. “Given the Obama Administration’s objectives, the timing is perfect.”

Source: http://bit.ly/7pp9N6

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One Response

  1. It enables growing and making crude as a feedstock possible..
    Reduces cost and hence becomes competitive with fossil fuel..

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