Academic Venture Fund - 2012

Improving Energy Cost and Scalability of Algal Biofuels

Microscopic image of blue-green algae

Liquid transportation fuel is a critical part of the world's energy requirements, but most forms of alternative energy cannot meet this need. Biofuels can. Biodiesel derived from microalgae is an important alternative to plant-based biofuels, yet algal biofuel technology has a major limitation: current methods for removing water from the algae at harvest expend more energy than is harvested. Researchers aim to solve the "dewatering" problem for an efficient and scalable algal energy harvest. This research promises a major advance in the search for sustainable transportation fuels.

Investigators: Susan Daniel, Beth Ahner, Itai Cohen, Roseanna Zia