Program Overview

 

Algae have been recognized for having great potential as a promising feedstock to meet our national biofuel development goal. However, major technical barriers have to be overcome in order to make algal fuel a commercial reality. Our research and development efforts focus on research and development addressing the following scientific and technological needs:

  • Developing technologies that are suitable for applications in the northern states of the US
  • Create a robust culture system that resists contamination with efficient harvesting processes
  • Maximizing photosynthesis efficiency under different culture conditions
  • Biorefining algal biomass for the production of aviation fuel and high value co-products
  • Developing targeted technology for using wastewater and for CO2 sequestration
  • Nutrient recycling and yielding positive net energy balances
  • High through-put screening process mimicking actual culture conditions
  • Non-deconstructive algal lipid content detection procedures
  • Direct production of aviation fuel by cyanobacteria

 

Algae Research Program

Unique Approach

We believe that the first generation of commercially algal biofuel systems must produce other high value co-products in addition to fuel. These systems must have multiple benefits such as CO2 sequestration, and need to be resource conservative and energy efficient. We take the following unique approaches to develop the systems and to address the above challenges.

  • Systems approach: algal-based biorefinery that emphasizes production of co-products and process integrations
  • Integrated heterotrophic/phototrophic (mixed-trophic) processes for maximizing production capacity, efficient use of available bio-feedstock, stability, and contamination control
  • Using extremophiles for high efficiency of CO2 utilization and contamination control;
  • Cost reduction through efficient harvesting using electrocoagulation-aided technologies;
  • Multi-scale modeling integrating algal cell activities and cell growth with system optimization;
  • and resource conservation with nutrient recycling.

 

Capabilities: The WSU Algae Fuel Initiative (AFI) organizes our unique strengths in photosynthesis (Dr. Helmut Kirchhoff), fatty acid synthesis (Dr. John Browse), systems engineering (Dr. Shulin Chen), genetics (Dr. Amit Dhingra), MNR flow cell analysis (Dr. Greg Helms and Bill Hiscox), flow cytometry (Dr. Bill Davis) and informatics (Dr. John Miller). Available to AFI is a instrument suite for algal cell processes and products investigation and screening that covers photosynthesis efficiency, metabolomics, proteomics, fatty acid synthesis, characteristic identification, and strain screening. The unique integration of this instrument suite positions WSU at the forefront of algal research capabilities.

Accomplishments: The above unique features have resulted in five proprietary technologies, including (1) heterotrophic algae production, (2) integrated mixotrophic algal culture technology, (3) nutrient recovery and recycling, (4) efficient CO2 capture and delivery, (5) algal biorefinery with co-products extraction and algal bio-oil production. Additionally, WSU AFI has established great partnerships with companies such as Boeing, NREL, Targeted Growth, Inventure Chemicals, Bioalgene, to name just a few. BBEL has also recently been admitted as a member of the National Alliance for Advanced Biofules and Bioproducts (NAABB) representing Washington State University.

Program Details

  • Personnel
  • Publications
  • Technologies
  • Project Reports
  • Invited presentations
  • Conference Presentations
  • Links
{authors} ({year}). {title} {journal} {link_text}

{authors} ({year}). {title} {number} {status} {date}

{description}


{authors} ({year}). {title} {agency} {link_text}
{authors} ({year}). {title} {conference} {location} {date}
{authors} ({year}). {title} {conference} {location} {date}

Some WSU Extension web sites provide links to external sites for the convenience of users. These external sites are not managed by the WSU Extension. Furthermore, WSU   Extension does not review, control or take responsibility for the content of these sites, nor do these sites implicitly or explicitly represent official positions and policies of WSU Extension.

 

Secondary content using h2 tag. Column 2

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Heading using the h3tag

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

BBEL, PO Box 646120, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6120, 509-335-3743, Contact Us